The Cytoglobin Expression Under Hypoxic Conditions in Covid-19 Cases

Endah Wulandari1, *, Rr Ayu Fitri Hapsari1, Francisca A Tjakradidjaja1, Alfiah1, Auliyani Andam Suri1
1 Faculty of Medicine, Islamic State University Syarif Hidyatullah, Jakarta, Indonesia

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© 2023 Wulandari et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Faculty of Medicine, Islamic State University Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta, Indonesia; Tel: 0621-74716718;
Fax: 0621-74716718; E-mail:



Cytoglobin (Cygb) is an oxygen transporter marker that appears in hypoxic conditions. The clinical condition of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, in general is that patients experience hypoxemia with low oxygen saturation. The Cygb gene is stimulated by the Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1alpha (HIF-1α) transcription factor, which is stable in hypoxia.


This study investigates Cygb expression in hypoxic COVID-19 cases. The design of this research is analytically observational. Parameters measured were Cygb mRNA and protein levels, correlation of HIF-1α and Cygb proteins in COVID-19 patients with Alpha, Beta, Delta, Omicron variants and negative control patients.


The results showed that each Cygb mRNA level decreased by 0.50, 0.92, 0.75 and 0.84 times that of the control. In contrast, Cygb protein levels (ng/mL) increased (16.95; 20.33; 21.20; 14.01 and 6.29 control). Strong negative correlation between mRNA and Cygb protein (R = -0.611). Strong positive correlation between HIF-1α and Cygb protein (R = 0.670).


This study showed that Cygb mRNA expression decreased, further increasing Cygb protein; HIF-1α protein levels increased, further increasing Cygb protein. In COVID-19 patients (Alpha, Beta, Delta and Omicron variants), there is an increase in Cygb protein levels through stimulation of HIF-1α, which is stable under hypoxic conditions. The regulation of Cygb in this study has the potential to become the basis for handling cases of viral infections or other cases of hypoxia.

Keywords: Cytoglobin, Corona virus disease 2019, Hypoxia, Transcription factor, Oxygen, Cygb expression in hypoxic COVID-19.