Proteins are essential to the creation of life.
Proteins are the workforce of the body. They can also be used as biomarkers to indicate certain diseases. These proteins are called biomarkers and play a vital role in the diagnosis and personalized treatment of diseases.
Despite recent developments, finding and validating novel biomarkers remains a challenge. There are thousands of proteins inside our bodies. Despite this, only a small few of them can represent the biological processes needed for a therapeutic intervention.
Ideally, one would like to have an eagle-eye view of the whole proteome. This could quickly identify specific protein biomarkers.
One of the methods that makes this possible is the next generation mass spectrometry proteomics technology. This is based on data independent acquisition (DIA). This technology allows unbiased quantification of thousands of proteins in a single sample.
In a recent article, researchers from the University of Cordoba, Spain, explored new potential biomarkers of growth hormone deficiencies (GHD) in children.
A typical clinical manifestation of GHD is when the afflicted person has a shorter stature than is typical. This is a result of delayed growth patterns.
However, GHD also affects bone health, cardiovascular function, and metabolic profiles. These symptoms in turn affect one’s quality of life. Early GHD treatment during childhood has been shown to improve the overall outcome. However, there is no single biochemical parameter currently available for the accurate diagnosis of GHD in children.
Authors of the study identified and quantified the relative abundance of 263 serum proteins from GHD children compared to healthy control samples. They did this by using next generation proteomics technology SWATH-MS (a variant of DIA).
By comparing both data sets, they were able to identify a set of proteins that were up- or down- regulated in GHD samples when compared to the healthy control samples. This means that these proteins could be a predictor for early indications of the disease.
Researchers used advanced bioinformatics tools to show which of these proteins could best be associated with the pathological process of GHD. They reported that a combination of three proteins from their data – apolipoprotein A-IV, complement factor H-related protein 4, and platelet basic protein – showed the best potential for possible biomarkers in early GHD.
This is a great step towards more discoveries in the future and we hope to report how this cutting-edge technology has had an impact on children affected with GHD.
Nevertheless, we shouldn’t forget that biomarkers need to be studied and tested by health authorities before they can make it to the general public. Only then will they be ready.