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1.  Novel proteins associated with risk for coronary heart disease or stroke among postmenopausal women identified by in-depth plasma proteome profiling 
Genome Medicine  2010;2(7):48.
Background
Coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke were key outcomes in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) randomized trials of postmenopausal estrogen and estrogen plus progestin therapy. We recently reported a large number of changes in blood protein concentrations in the first year following randomization in these trials using an in-depth quantitative proteomics approach. However, even though many affected proteins are in pathways relevant to the observed clinical effects, the relationships of these proteins to CHD and stroke risk among postmenopausal women remains substantially unknown.
Methods
The same in-depth proteomics platform was applied to plasma samples, obtained at enrollment in the WHI Observational Study, from 800 women who developed CHD and 800 women who developed stroke during cohort follow-up, and from 1-1 matched controls. A plasma pooling strategy, followed by extensive fractionation prior to mass spectrometry, was used to identify proteins related to disease incidence, and the overlap of these proteins with those affected by hormone therapy was examined. Replication studies, using enzyme-linked-immunosorbent assay (ELISA), were carried out in the WHI hormone therapy trial cohorts.
Results
Case versus control concentration differences were suggested for 37 proteins (nominal P < 0.05) for CHD, with three proteins, beta-2 microglobulin (B2M), alpha-1-acid glycoprotein 1 (ORM1), and insulin-like growth factor binding protein acid labile subunit (IGFALS) having a false discovery rate < 0.05. Corresponding numbers for stroke were 47 proteins with nominal P < 0.05, three of which, apolipoprotein A-II precursor (APOA2), peptidyl-prolyl isomerase A (PPIA), and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 4 (IGFBP4), have a false discovery rate < 0.05. Other proteins involved in insulin-like growth factor signaling were also highly ranked. The associations of B2M with CHD (P < 0.001) and IGFBP4 with stroke (P = 0.005) were confirmed using ELISA in replication studies, and changes in these proteins following the initiation of hormone therapy use were shown to have potential to help explain hormone therapy effects on those diseases.
Conclusions
In-depth proteomic discovery analysis of prediagnostic plasma samples identified B2M and IGFBP4 as risk markers for CHD and stroke respectively, and provided a number of candidate markers of disease risk and candidate mediators of hormone therapy effects on CHD and stroke.
Clinical Trials Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00000611
doi:10.1186/gm169
PMCID: PMC2923740  PMID: 20667078
2.  Postmenopausal estrogen and progestin effects on the serum proteome 
Genome Medicine  2009;1(12):121.
Background
Women's Health Initiative randomized trials of postmenopausal hormone therapy reported intervention effects on several clinical outcomes, with some important differences between estrogen alone and estrogen plus progestin. The biologic mechanisms underlying these effects, and these differences, have yet to be fully elucidated.
Methods
Baseline serum samples were compared with samples drawn 1 year later for 50 women assigned to active hormone therapy in both the estrogen-plus-progestin and estrogen-alone randomized trials, by applying an in-depth proteomic discovery platform to serum pools from 10 women per pool.
Results
In total, 378 proteins were quantified in two or more of the 10 pooled serum comparisons, by using strict identification criteria. Of these, 169 (44.7%) showed evidence (nominal P < 0.05) of change in concentration between baseline and 1 year for one or both of estrogen-plus-progestin and estrogen-alone groups. Quantitative changes were highly correlated between the two hormone-therapy preparations. A total of 98 proteins had false discovery rates < 0.05 for change with estrogen plus progestin, compared with 94 for estrogen alone. Of these, 84 had false discovery rates <0.05 for both preparations. The observed changes included multiple proteins relevant to coagulation, inflammation, immune response, metabolism, cell adhesion, growth factors, and osteogenesis. Evidence of differential changes also was noted between the hormone preparations, with the strongest evidence in growth factor and inflammation pathways.
Conclusions
Serum proteomic analyses yielded a large number of proteins similarly affected by estrogen plus progestin and by estrogen alone and identified some proteins and pathways that appear to be differentially affected between the two hormone preparations; this may explain their distinct clinical effects.
doi:10.1186/gm121
PMCID: PMC2808737  PMID: 20034393

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