Quantitative proteomic analysis of serum-purified exosomes identifies putative pre-eclampsia-associated biomarkers
Navajas, Rosana, Antonio Ramos-Fernandez, Ignacio Herraiz, Alberto Galindo, José Luis Bartha, Fernando Corrales, and Alberto Paradela. 2022. “Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of Serum-Purified Exosomes Identifies Putative Pre-Eclampsia-Associated Biomarkers.” Clinical Proteomics 19 (1): 5. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12014-022-09342-4.
Background: The high incidence of pre-eclampsia, which affects 2-7% of all pregnancies, remains a major health concern. Detection of pre-eclampsia before the appearance of clinical symptoms is essential to allow early intervention, and would benefit from identification of plasma/serum biomarkers to help guide diagnosis and treatment. Liquid biopsy has emerged as a promising source of protein biomarkers that circumvents some of the inherent challenges of proteome-wide analysis of plasma/serum. In this respect, purified exosomes have the added benefit of being carriers of intercellular communication both in physiological and pathological conditions. Methods: We compared the protein complement of purified exosomes from three different collections of control and pre-eclamptic serum samples, obtained at the end of the second trimester of pregnancy and at delivery. We employed shotgun label-free proteomics to investigate differential protein expression, which was then validated by targeted proteomics. Results: We developed a purification method that yielded highly enriched exosome preparations. The presence of specific pregnancy protein markers suggested that a significant proportion of purified exosomes derived from tissues related to pregnancy. Quantitative proteomic analyses allowed us to identify 10, 114 and 98 differentially-regulated proteins in the three sample collections, with a high degree of concordance. Functional analysis suggested that these proteins participate in biological processes related to pre-eclampsia, including angiogenesis, inflammation and cell migration. The differential abundance of 66 proteins was validated by targeted proteomics. Finally, we studied the impact of the pre-eclampsia-associated exosomes in the proteome using an in vitro cellular model. Conclusions: We have identified and validated differential exosomal proteins in liquid biopsy of pregnant women that open new possibilities for early detection of pre-eclampsia. Additionally, the functional impact of the proteome composition of purified pre-eclamptic exosomes in target cells provides new information to better understand changes in embryo-maternal interactions and, consequently, the pathogenesis of this disease.View full article