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Batya Rinsky, Gala Beykin, Michelle Grunin, Radgonde Amer, Samer Khateb, Liran Tiosano, Diego Almeida, Shira Hagbi-Levi, Sarah Elbaz-Hayoun, Itay Chowers; Analysis of the Aqueous Humor Proteome in Patients With Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(10):18. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.62.10.18.
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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is associated with altered gene and protein expression in the retina. We characterize the aqueous humor (AH) proteome in AMD to gain insight into the pathogenesis of the disease and identify potential biomarkers.
AH was collected from age and gender matched neovascular AMD (nvAMD; n = 10) patients and controls (n = 10). AH was pooled to create two samples (nvAMD and control), followed by intensity-based label-free quantification (MS1). Functional and bioinformatic analysis were then performed. A validation set (20 controls, 15 atrophic AMD and 15 nvAMD) was tested via multiplex ELISA for nine differentially expressed proteins according to the MS1 findings.
MS1 identified 674 proteins in the AH. 239 proteins were upregulated in nvAMD (nvAMD/control > 2, peptide tags (PT) > 2), and 86 proteins were downregulated (nvAMD/control < 0.5, PT > 2). Functional analysis of proteins upregulated in AMD demonstrated enrichment for platelet degranulation (enrichment score (ES):28.1), negative regulation of endopeptidase activity (ES:18.8), cellular protein metabolic process (ES:11.8), epidermal growth factor-like domain (ES:10.3), sushi/SCR/CCP (ES:10.1), and complement/coagulation cascades (ES:9.2). AMD protein clusters were upregulated for 3/6 (χ2 < 0.05 compared to randomization). Validation via ELISA confirmed MS1 in 2/9 proteins (Clusterin and Serpin A4, P < 0.05), while 3/9 showed differential expression between aAMD and nvAMD (Clusterin, Serpin A4, and TF P < 0.05). Receiver operating characteristic curve calculation identified the area under the curve of 0.82 for clusterin as a biomarker for distinction of AMD.
AH proteomics in AMD patients identified several proteins and functional clusters with altered expression. Further research should confirm if these proteins may serve as biomarkers or therapeutic target for the disease.
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