A pilot proteomic study of protein markers in autism spectrum disorder


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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis is increasing, with 1/88 children believed to be affected by the disorder, with a most recent survey suggesting numbers as high as 1/50. Treatment and understanding of ASD causes is a pressing health concern. ASD protein biomarkers may provide clues about ASD cause. Protein biomarkers for ASDs could be used for ASD diagnosis, subtyping, treatment monitoring, and identifying therapeutic targets. Here, we analyzed the sera from seven children with ASD and seven matched controls using Tricine gel electrophoresis (Tricine-PAGE) and LC-MS/MS. Overall, we found increased levels of apolipoproteins ApoA1 and ApoA4, involved in cholesterol metabolism and of serum paraoxanase/arylesterase 1, involved in preventing oxidative damage, in the sera of children with ASD, compared with their matched controls. All three proteins are predicted to interact with each other and are parts of high-density lipoproteins. Further studies are needed to validate these findings in larger subject numbers.