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J Biomed Biotechnol. 2010;2010:952047. doi: 10.1155/2010/952047. Epub 2009 Nov 5.

Quantitative proteomics analysis of maternal plasma in Down syndrome pregnancies using isobaric tagging reagent (iTRAQ).

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  • 1Department of Biomedicine, University Women's Hospital, 4031 Basel, Switzerland.


Currently no specific biomarkers exist for the screening of pregnancies at risk for Down syndrome (DS). Since a quantitative proteomic approach with isobaric labelling (iTRAQ) has recently been suggested to be highly suitable for the discovery of novel plasma biomarkers, we have now used this method to examine for potential quantitative changes in the plasma proteome of the pregnancies bearing DS fetuses in comparison to normal healthy babies. In our study, we used plasma from six women with DS pregnancies and six with uncomplicated pregnancies care were taken to match cases and controls for gestational and maternal age, as these could be a confounder. In our quantitative proteomics analysis we were able to detect 178 proteins using iTRAQ labelling in conjunction with 4800 MALDI TOF/TOF. Amongst these we observed changes in betaHCG, a known screening marker for DS, indicating that our assay was functional. We found a number of elevated proteins Ig lambda chain C region, serum amyloid P-component, amyloid beta A4, and under expressed proteins like gamma-actin and titin in DS pregnancies. These proteins are also found in the sera of patients with Alzheimer disease, which share similar pathologies of DS. Our study therefore indicates that the iTRAQ labelling approach may be indeed useful for the detection of novel biomarkers.

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