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Can proteomics yield insight into aging aorta?


Correspondence: Dr. Jennifer Van Eyk, Departments of Medicine, Biological Chemistry, and Biomedical Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA


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The aging aorta exhibits structural and physiological changes that are reflected in the proteome of its component cells types. The advance in proteomic technologies has made it possible to analyze the quantity of proteins associated with the natural history of aortic aging. These alterations reflect the molecular and cellular mechanisms of aging and could provide an opportunity to predict vascular health. This paper focuses on whether discoveries stemming from the application of proteomic approaches of the intact aging aorta or vascular smooth muscle cells can provide useful insights. Although there have been limited studies to date, a number of interesting proteins have been identified that are closely associated with aging in the rat aorta. Such proteins, including milk fat globule-EGF factor 8, matrix metalloproteinase type-2, and vitronectin, could be used as indicators of vascular health, or even explored as therapeutic targets for aging-related vascular diseases.