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Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 15;7(1):8142. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-08432-w.

Protein expression changes caused by spaceflight as measured for 18 Russian cosmonauts.

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Institute of Biomedical Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, 76a Khoroshevskoye shosse, 123007, Moscow, Russia.
University of Victoria - Genome BC Proteomics Centre, University of Victoria, Vancouver Island Technology Park, 3101-4464 Markham Street, Victoria, British Columbia, V8Z 7X8, Canada.
Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria, Petch Building Room 207, 3800 Finnerty Road, Victoria, British Columbia, V8P 5C2, Canada.
Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, 3755 Côte Ste-Catherine Road, Montreal, Quebec, H3T 1E2, Canada.
Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology, Jewish General Hospital, 3755 Côte Ste-Catherine Road, Montreal, Quebec, H3T 1E2, Canada.
Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Skoltech, Moscow region, Skolkovo village, Novaya st.100, 143025, Russia.
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Moscow region, Dolgoprudnyj, Institutskij pr. 9, 141700, Russia.
Institute of Energy Problems of Chemical Physics Russian Academy of Sciences, 38 k.2 Leninskij pr., 119334, Moscow, Russia.


The effects of spaceflight on human physiology is an increasingly studied field, yet the molecular mechanisms driving physiological changes remain unknown. With that in mind, this study was performed to obtain a deeper understanding of changes to the human proteome during space travel, by quantitating a panel of 125 proteins in the blood plasma of 18 Russian cosmonauts who had conducted long-duration missions to the International Space Station. The panel of labeled prototypic tryptic peptides from these proteins covered a concentration range of more than 5 orders of magnitude in human plasma. Quantitation was achieved by a well-established and highly-regarded targeted mass spectrometry approach involving multiple reaction monitoring in conjunction with stable isotope-labeled standards. Linear discriminant function analysis of the quantitative results revealed three distinct groups of proteins: 1) proteins with post-flight protein concentrations remaining stable, 2) proteins whose concentrations recovered slowly, or 3) proteins whose concentrations recovered rapidly to their pre-flight levels. Using a systems biology approach, nearly all of the reacting proteins could be linked to pathways that regulate the activities of proteases, natural immunity, lipid metabolism, coagulation cascades, or extracellular matrix metabolism.

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