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Sci Rep. 2018 Feb 2;8(1):2320. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-20794-3.

Targeted plasma proteomics identifies a novel, robust association between cornulin and Swedish moist snuff.

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Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Department of Immunology, Genetics, and Pathology, Biomedical Center, Science for Life Laboratory Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.


Lifestyle behaviors are believed to influence the body's inflammatory state. Chronic low-grade inflammation contributes to the development of major non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Inflammation may thus be an important link between lifestyle and disease. We evaluated self-reported physical activity, tobacco use and alcohol consumption in relation to plasma levels of 160 validated inflammatory and cancer biomarkers. The study included 138 participants from a population-based cohort, all with repeated sampling of plasma and data ten years apart, allowing consideration of both intra- and inter-individual variation. Of 17 relationships identified, the strongest was an independent, positive association between cornulin (CRNN) and Swedish moist snuff (snus) use. We replicated the finding in a second cohort of 501 individuals, in which a dose-response relationship was also observed. Snus explained approximately one fifth of the variance in CRNN levels in both sample sets (18% and 23%). In conclusion, we identified a novel, independent, dose-dependent association between CRNN and snus use. Further study is warranted, to evaluate the performance of CRNN as a potential snus biomarker. The putative importance of lifestyle behaviors on a wide range of protein biomarkers illustrates the need for more personalized biomarker cut-offs.

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