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Carotid atherosclerotic plaques: Proteomics study after a low-abundance protein enrichment step



Atherosclerosis is one of the most important causes of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events. Although phenotypic differentiation between stable and unstable plaques is currently possible, proteomic analysis of the atherosclerotic plaque could offer a global view of the atherosclerosis pathology. With the objective to highlight the detection of low-abundance proteins, we reduced the dynamic range of proteins by combinatorial peptide ligand library treatment of human carotid artery atherosclerotic plaques. After enrichment step, abundance of major proteins was decreased, revealing different protein profiles as assessed by both SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and two-dimensional electrophoresis comparative analyses. Identification of proteins that were contained in a spot allowed finding large differences between noncomplicated and complicated plaques from carotid atherosclerotic lesions. Novel low-abundance proteins were detected correlating very well with biological alterations related to atherosclerosis (heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) isoforms, aldehyde dehydrogenase, moesin, Protein kinase C delta-binding protein, and inter-α trypsin inhibitor family heavy chain-related protein (ITIH4)). At the same time, the differential expression of known proteins of interest such as hemoglobin β-chain and heat shock protein 27 between noncomplicated and hemorrhagic complicated plaques was maintained after enrichment step. The detection of different isoforms of a low-abundance protein such as heat shock protein 27 species was actually improved after enrichment of tissue protein extracts. All of these findings clearly support further investigations in view to confirm the role of these proteins as possible biomarkers.