Proteome analysis reveals elevated serum levels of clusterin in patients with preeclampsia



Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific syndrome and a major cause of maternal mortality. The pathophysiology of preeclampsia is unknown, and no proteome analysis of preeclampsia has been reported. We sought to identify proteins associated with preeclampsia using a proteomic technique and performed two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) on sera from six patients with preeclampsia and six normal pregnant women, followed by comparison of the SYPRO Ruby-stained 2-DE profiles. A group of overexpressed spots was identified in the limited study set. Overexpressed spots were identified as clusterin by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight-mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) followed by peptide mass fingerprinting, a protein database search, and Western blot analysis. Additionally, sera of 80 preeclamptic women and 80 normal pregnant women were processed by immunoassay methods to confirm changes in clusterin concentrations quantitatively. Immunoassays showed that clusterin levels in the 80 preeclamptic women were significantly higher than those in the 80 controls (mean ± SD; 1.62 ± 0.46 times reference level in preeclamptic women vs. 1.30 ± 0.46 times reference level in controls, P < 0.001). Proteomic analysis of serum proteins is a promising tool for studying preeclampsia pathophysiology and identifying proteins associated with preeclampsia.