Metal-coding assisted serological multi-omics profiling deciphers the role of selenium in COVID-19 immunity†
Uncovering how host metal(loid)s mediate the immune response against invading pathogens is critical for better understanding the pathogenesis mechanism of infectious disease. Clinical data show that imbalance of host metal(loid)s is closely associated with the severity and mortality of COVID-19. However, it remains elusive how metal(loid)s, which are essential elements for all forms of life and closely associated with multiple diseases if dysregulated, are involved in COVID-19 pathophysiology and immunopathology. Herein, we built up a metal-coding assisted multiplexed serological metallome and immunoproteome profiling system to characterize the links of metallome with COVID-19 pathogenesis and immunity. We found distinct metallome features in COVID-19 patients compared with non-infected control subjects, which may serve as a biomarker for disease diagnosis. Moreover, we generated the first correlation network between the host metallome and immunity mediators, and unbiasedly uncovered a strong association of selenium with interleukin-10 (IL-10). Supplementation of selenium to immune cells resulted in enhanced IL-10 expression in B cells and reduced induction of proinflammatory cytokines in B and CD4+ T cells. The selenium-enhanced IL-10 production in B cells was confirmed to be attributable to the activation of ERK and Akt pathways. We further validated our cellular data in SARS-CoV-2-infected K18-hACE2 mice, and found that selenium supplementation alleviated SARS-CoV-2-induced lung damage characterized by decreased alveolar inflammatory infiltrates through restoration of virus-repressed selenoproteins to alleviate oxidative stress. Our approach can be readily extended to other diseases to understand how the host defends against invading pathogens through regulation of metallome.