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J Proteomics. 2012 Jul 16;75(13):3877-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2012.04.053. Epub 2012 May 23.

In-depth analysis of the human tear proteome.

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Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore.


The tears, a critical body fluid of the surface of the eye, contain an unknown number of molecules including proteins/peptides, lipids, small molecule metabolites, and electrolytes. There have been continued efforts for exploring the human tear proteome to develop biomarkers of disease. In this study, we used the high speed TripleTOF 5600 system as the platform to analyze the human tear proteome from healthy subjects (3 females and 1 male, average age: 36±14). We have identified 1543 proteins in the tears with less than 1% false discovery rate, which represents the largest number of human tear proteins reported to date. The data set was analyzed for gene ontology (GO) and compared with the human plasma proteome, NEIBank lacrimal gland gene dataset and NEIBank cornea gene dataset. This comprehensive tear protein list may serve as a reference list of human tear proteome for biomarker research of ocular diseases or establishment of MRM (Multiple Reaction Monitoring) assays for targeted analysis. Tear fluid is a useful and an accessible source not only for evaluating ocular surface tissues (cornea and conjunctiva), inflammation, lacrimal gland function and a number of disease conditions, such as dry eye as well as response to treatment.

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