Proteome analysis of body fluids for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis biomarker discovery


Correspondence: Dr. Thomas Krüger, Institute of Biochemistry 1, University Hospital, Nonnenplan 2, D-07743 Jena, Germany


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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder of motor neurons leading to death of the patients, mostly within 2–5 years after disease onset. The pathomechanism of motor neuron degeneration is only partially understood and therapeutic strategies based on mechanistic insights are largely ineffective. The discovery of reliable biomarkers of disease diagnosis and progression is the sine qua non of both the revelation of insights into the ALS pathomechanism and the assessment of treatment efficacies. Proteomic approaches are an important pillar in ALS biomarker discovery. Cerebrospinal fluid is the most promising body fluid for differential proteome analyses, followed by blood (serum, plasma), and even urine and saliva. The present study provides an overview about reported peptide/protein biomarker candidates that showed significantly altered levels in certain body fluids of ALS patients. These findings have to be discussed according to proposed pathomechanisms to identify modifiers of disease progression and to pave the way for the development of potential therapeutic strategies. Furthermore, limitations and advantages of proteomic approaches for ALS biomarker discovery in different body fluids and reliable validation of biomarker candidates have been addressed.