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PLoS One. 2008 Apr 23;3(4):e2049. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002049.

Multidimensional proteomics analysis of amniotic fluid to provide insight into the mechanisms of idiopathic preterm birth.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America. irina.buhimschi@yale.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Though recent advancement in proteomics has provided a novel perspective on several distinct pathogenetic mechanisms leading to preterm birth (inflammation, bleeding), the etiology of most preterm births still remains elusive. We conducted a multidimensional proteomic analysis of the amniotic fluid to identify pathways related to preterm birth in the absence of inflammation or bleeding.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

A proteomic fingerprint was generated from fresh amniotic fluid using surface-enhanced laser desorbtion ionization time of flight (SELDI-TOF) mass spectrometry in a total of 286 consecutive samples retrieved from women who presented with signs or symptoms of preterm labor or preterm premature rupture of the membranes. Inflammation and/or bleeding proteomic patterns were detected in 32% (92/286) of the SELDI tracings. In the remaining tracings, a hierarchical algorithm was applied based on descriptors quantifying similarity/dissimilarity among proteomic fingerprints. This allowed identification of a novel profile (Q-profile) based on the presence of 5 SELDI peaks in the 10-12.5 kDa mass area. Women displaying the Q-profile (mean+/-SD, gestational age: 25+/-4 weeks, n = 40) were more likely to deliver preterm despite expectant management in the context of intact membranes and normal amniotic fluid clinical results. Utilizing identification-centered proteomics techniques (fluorescence two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis, robotic tryptic digestion and mass spectrometry) coupled with Protein ANalysis THrough Evolutionary Relationships (PANTHER) ontological classifications, we determined that in amniotic fluids with Q-profile the differentially expressed proteins are primarily involved in non-inflammatory biological processes such as protein metabolism, signal transduction and transport.

CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE:

Proteomic profiling of amniotic fluid coupled with non-hierarchical bioinformatics algorithms identified a subgroup of patients at risk for preterm birth in the absence of intra-amniotic inflammation or bleeding, suggesting a novel pathogenetic pathway leading to preterm birth. The altered proteins may offer opportunities for therapeutical intervention and future drug development to prevent prematurity.

PMID:
18431506
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2315798
Free PMC Article
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