Background and Aims
The morbidity of ulcerative colitis (UC) is increasing in China every year. In addition, there is a lack of accurate diagnostic indices with which to evaluate the activity of the disease. The aim of this study was to identify UC-associated proteins as biomarkers for the diagnosis, and objective assessment of disease activity.
Differential expression of serum proteins from UC patients compared to normal controls was analyzed by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). The expression of heat shock factor 2(HSF2)in colonic mucosa in Crohn's disease, Behcet's disease, ulcerative colitis, intestinal tuberculosis, infective enteritis, intestinal lymphoma, and normal controls was investigated by immunohistochemistry (IHC). The expression of the HSF2 in colonic mucosa of UC subjects with varying severity of disease was measured by real time-PCR and Western Blots. The expression of HSF2 was inhibited by HSF2 small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection in Caco-2 cells. The concentrations of HSF2, IL-1β, and TNF-α in serum and IL-1β, and TNF-α in the supernatants of transfected Caco-2 cells were determined by ELISA.
HSF2 was differentially expressed in UC patients compared to normal controls. HSF2 expression was significantly higher in the intestinal mucosa of UC patients compared to other six groups. The results of immunohistochemistry, real time-PCR, Western Blots, and ELISA showed that the expression of HSF2 increased in parallel with the severity of UC. The serum concentration of HSF2 also positively correlated with levels of IL-1β and TNF-α. After down-regulation expression of HSF2 in Caco-2 cells by RNA interference, the productions of IL-1β and TNF-α stimulated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) increased dramatically.
HSF2 appears to be a potential novel molecular marker for UC activity, and may provide a basis for studies on the pathogenesis and novel therapeutic targets for UC.