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Keywords:

  • CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE;
  • MASS SPECTROMETRY PROTEOMICS;
  • POST-TRANSLATIONAL MODIFICATIONS

Abstract

In recent years, the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease (CVD) has increased its potential, also thanks to mass spectrometry (MS) proteomics. Modern MS proteomics tools permit analyzing a variety of biological samples, ranging from single cells to tissues and body fluids, like plasma and urine. This approach enhances the search for informative biomarkers in biological samples from apparently healthy individuals or patients, thus allowing an earlier and more precise diagnosis and a deeper comprehension of pathogenesis, development and outcome of CVD to further reduce the enormous burden of this disease on public health. In fact, many differences in protein expression between CVD-affected and healthy subjects have been detected, but only a few of them have been useful to establish clinical biomarkers because they did not pass the verification and validation tests. For a concrete clinical support of MS proteomics to CVD, it is, therefore, necessary to: ameliorate the resolution, sensitivity, specificity, throughput, precision, and accuracy of MS platform components; standardize procedures for sample collection, preparation, and analysis; lower the costs of the analyses; reduce the time of biomarker verification and validation. At the same time, it will be fundamental, for the future perspectives of proteomics in clinical trials, to define the normal protein maps and the global patterns of normal protein levels, as well as those specific for the different expressions of CVD. J. Cell. Biochem. 114: 7–20, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.