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Proteomics in aortic aneurysm – What have we learnt so far?

Authors


Correspondence: Dr. Manuel Mayr, King's British Heart Foundation Centre, King's College of London, London, United Kingdom

E-mail: manuel.mayr@kcl.ac.uk

Fax: +44 (0)20 7848 5296

Abstract

Aortic aneurysm is a deceptively indolent disease that can cause severe complications such as aortic rupture and dissection. In the normal aorta, vascular smooth muscle cells within the medial layer produce and sustain the extracellular matrix (ECM) that provides structural support but also retains soluble growth factors and regulates their distribution. Although the ECM is an obvious target to identify molecular processes leading to structural failure within the vessel wall, an in-depth proteomics analysis of this important sub-proteome has not been performed. Most proteomics analyses of the vasculature to date used homogenized tissue devoid of spatial information. In such homogenates, quantitative proteomics comparisons are hampered by the heterogeneity of clinical samples (i.e. cellular composition) and the dynamic range limitations stemming from highly abundant cellular proteins. An unbiased proteomics discovery approach targeting the ECM instead of the cellular proteome may decipher the complex, multivalent signals that are presented to cells during aortic remodelling. A better understanding of the ECM in healthy and diseased vessels will provide important pathogenic insights and has potential to reveal novel biomarkers.

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