A plasma proteomic signature of skeletal muscle mitochondrial function

Marta Zampino, Toshiko Tanaka, Ceereena Ubaida-Mohien, Giovanna Fantoni, Julián Candia, Richard D. Semba, Luigi Ferrucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in aging, physical function decline, and several age-related diseases, an accessible and affordable measure of mitochondrial health is still lacking. In this study we identified the proteomic signature of muscular mitochondrial oxidative capacity in plasma. In 165 adults, we analyzed the association between concentrations of plasma proteins, measured using the SOMAscan assay, and skeletal muscle maximal oxidative phosphorylation capacity assessed as post-exercise phosphocreatine recovery time constant (τPCr) by phosphorous magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Out of 1301 proteins analyzed, we identified 87 proteins significantly associated with τPCr, adjusting for age, sex, and phosphocreatine depletion. Sixty proteins were positively correlated with better oxidative capacity, while 27 proteins were correlated with poorer capacity. Specific clusters of plasma proteins were enriched in the following pathways: homeostasis of energy metabolism, proteostasis, response to oxidative stress, and inflammation. The generalizability of these findings would benefit from replication in an independent cohort and in longitudinal analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9540
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2 2020


  • Aptamers
  • Inflammation
  • Mitochondria
  • Oxidative capacity
  • Phosphorous magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Plasma
  • Proteomics
  • SOMAscan
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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