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Electrophoresis. 2012 Jul;33(12):1894-900. doi: 10.1002/elps.201200002.

Proteomic analysis reveals platelet factor 4 and beta-thromboglobulin as prognostic markers in severe acute respiratory syndrome.

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Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong SAR.


Previously, we reported that proteomic fingerprints were present in sera of patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and could separate patients into subgroups with different prognoses. In the present study, we examined the prognostic values of the SARS-associated proteomic features by biostatistical analysis, and deciphered the identities of those with prognostic values. Data of 20 SARS-associated serum proteomic features and ten serological variables from 38 SARS adult patients before treatment were subjected to multivariate logistic regression. Proteomic features of m/z 6634, m/z 7769, m/z 8635, and m/z 8865 were identified as independent prognostic markers. After purification by cation-exchange chromatography and gel electrophoresis, proteomic features of m/z 7769 and m/z 8865 were found to be platelet factor 4 (PF4) and beta-thromboglobulin (beta-TG) by tandem mass spectrometry, respectively. The associations of decreased serum PF4 and increased serum beta-TG levels with poor prognosis were confirmed by Western blot. Previous studies suggest that PF4 and beta-TG are involved in the pathogenesis of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in a negative and positive way, respectively. Our results suggest that PF4 and beta-TG may also play similar roles in the development of ARDS in SARS patients.

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