Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a heterogeneous disease characterized by irreversible airflow limitation. Cigarette smoking represents the main risk factor, but the specific mechanisms of COPD are not completely understood. Our aim was to identify COPD-specific proteomic changes involved in disease onset and severity. A comparative proteomic analysis of 51 lung tissues from nonsmokers, smokers, smokers with mild to moderate (stage I–II) COPD, severe to very severe COPD (stage III–IV), and patients with α-1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) was performed by cysteine-specific two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) coupled with mass spectrometry. Selected COPD-specific changes were validated by immunoblotting and further by ELISA in 120 induced sputum and plasma samples from nonsmokers, smokers, and patients with COPD (stage I–III). Altogether 82 altered proteins were identified comprising COPD-, AATD-, and IPF-specific, overlapping, and unspecific changes. Cathepsin D (CTSD), dihydropyrimidinase-related protein 2 (DPYSL2), transglutaminase 2 (TGM2), and tripeptidyl-peptidase 1 (TPP1) were validated as COPD-specific. TGM2 was not associated with smoking and correlated with COPD severity in lung tissue. TGM2 levels in sputum and plasma were elevated in patients with COPD (stage II–III) and correlated with lung function. In conclusion, new proteins related to COPD onset and severity could be identified with TGM2 being a novel potential diagnostic and therapeutic target for COPD. Further studies in carefully characterized cohorts are required to validate the identified changes.
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- α-1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD)
- idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)
- lung tissue
- two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE)
- difference gel electrophoresis (DIGE)
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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