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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2005 Sep;4(9):1251-64. Epub 2005 Jun 12.

Differential proteomic analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in asthmatics following segmental antigen challenge.

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  • 1Biological Technologies and Inflammation Research, Wyeth, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140, USA.


Allergic asthma is characterized by persistent airway inflammation and remodeling. Bronchoalveolar lavage conducted with fiberoptic bronchoscopy has been widely used for investigating the pathogenesis of asthma and other lung disorders. Identification of proteins in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and their expression changes at different stages of asthma could provide further insights into the complex molecular mechanisms involved in this disease. In this report, we describe the first comprehensive differential proteomic analysis of BALF from both asthmatic patients and healthy subjects before and 24 h after segmental allergen challenge. Our proteomic analysis involves affinity depletion of six abundant BALF proteins, SDS-PAGE fractionation, protein in-gel digestion, and subsequent nano-LC-MS/MS analysis in conjunction with database searching for protein identification and semiquantitation. More than 1,500 distinct proteins were identified of which about 10% displayed significant up-regulation specific to the asthmatic patients after segmental allergen challenge. The differentially expressed proteins represent a wide spectrum of functional classes such as chemokines, cytokines, proteases, complement factors, acute phase proteins, monocyte-specific granule proteins, and local matrix proteins, etc. The majority of these protein expression changes are closely associated with many aspects of the pathophysiology of asthma, including inflammation, eosinophilia, airway remodeling, tissue damage and repair, mucus production, and plasma infiltration. Importantly a large portion of these proteins and their expression changes were identified for the first time from BALF, thus providing new insights for finding novel pathological mediators and biomarkers of asthma.

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