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Early urinary candidate biomarker discovery in a rat thioacetamide-induced liver fibrosis model

By Fanshuang Zhang, Yanying Ni, Yuan Yuan, Wei Yin, Youhe Gao

Posted 06 Apr 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/125120 (published DOI: 10.1007/s11427-017-9268-y)

Biomarker is the change associated with the disease. Blood is relatively stable because of the homeostatic mechanisms of the body. However, urine accumulates changes of the body, which makes it a better early biomarker source. Liver fibrosis, which results from the deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) components, is a reversible pathological condition, whereas cirrhosis, the end-stage of liver fibrosis, is irreversible. Consequently, noninvasive early biomarkers for fibrosis are desperately needed. In this study, differential urinary proteins were identified in the thioacetamide (TAA) liver fibrosis rat model using tandem mass tagging and two-dimensional liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (2DLC-MS/MS). A total of 766 urinary proteins were identified, 143 and 118 of which were significantly changed in the TAA 1-week and 3-week groups, respectively. Multiple reaction monitoring (MRM)-targeted proteomics was used to further validate the abundant differentially expressed proteins in the TAA 1-week, 3-week, 6-week and 8-week groups. A total of 40 urinary proteins were statistically significant (fold change >2 and p<0.05), 15 of which had been previously reported as biomarkers of liver fibrosis, cirrhosis or other related diseases and 10 of which had been reported to be associated with the pathology and mechanism of liver fibrosis. These differential proteins were detected in urine before the alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) changes in the serum and before fibrosis was observed upon hematoxylin and eosin (HE) and Masson staining.

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