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Keywords:

  • Gene expression profiling;
  • Osteoarthritis;
  • Rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Stat1;
  • p47phox

Abstract

Global scale molecular profiling of diseased tissues is an important first step to unravel candidate target molecules that are involved in the pathogenesis of a disease. We have performed a comparative molecular characterization at the transcriptome (microarray with 12 526 gene specificities) and proteome level (multi-Western blot PowerBlot™ with 791 antibodies) of synovial tissue from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) compared to osteoarthritis (OA) patients. From the panel of 791 antibodies, 260 (33%) detected their corresponding protein. Out of 58 unambiguous changes at the protein level only 16 coincided at the transcript level (28%). Stat1, p47phox and manganese superoxide dismutase were shown to be reproducibly overexpressed in RA versus OA synovial tissue by Western blots with a panel of 8 RA versus 8 OA samples. Cathepsin D was among the most prominent proteins scored to be underexpressed in RA by the PowerBlot™ whereas no differences of the respective transcript were observed. The lower abundance of cathepsin D protein in RA compared to OA tissue was also reproduced in other patient samples. Immunohistochemistry assigned the Stat1 protein in RA synovial tissue mainly to macrophages and T lymphocytes and the p47phox protein in particular to macrophages. In conclusion, our approach provided us with new candidate molecules for further analysis of rheumatic diseases and stressed the importance of studies at the protein level.