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Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics
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Research Article

Serum Proteomic Profiles in Subjects with Heavy Alcohol Abuse

Suthat Liangpunsakul1, Xianyin Lai2, Heather N. Ringham2, David W. Crabb1, Frank A. Witzmann2*

1Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Clarian/IU Digestive Diseases Center, Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine

2Department of Cellular & Integrative Physiology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202

*Corresponding Author:
Dr. Frank A. Witzmann
Department of Cellular & Integrative Physiology
Indiana University School of Medicine
Biotechnology Research and Training Center
1345 West 16th Street, Room 308
Indianapolis, IN 46202 USA
Tel : 317-278-5741
Fax : 317-278-9739
E-mail : [email protected]

Received Date: April 14, 2009; Accepted Date: May 20, 2009; Published Date: May 20, 2009

Citation: Liangpunsakul S, Lai X, Ringham HN, Crabb DW, Witzmann FA (2009) Serum Proteomic Profiles in Subjects with Heavy Alcohol Abuse. J Proteomics Bioinform 2: 236-243. doi: 10.4172/jpb.1000082

Copyright: © 2009 Liangpunsakul S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Objectives: The abuse of alcohol is a major public health problem, and the diagnosis and care of patients with alcohol abuse and dependence is hindered by the lack of tests that can detect dangerous levels of drinking or relapse during therapy. Gastroenterologists and other healthcare providers find it very challenging to obtain an accurate alcohol drinking history. We hypothesized that the effects of ethanol on numerous systems may well be reflected in changes in quantity or qualities of constituent or novel plasma proteins or protein fragments. Organ/tissue-specific proteins may be released into the blood stream when cells are injured by alcohol, or when systemic changes are induced by alcohol, and such proteins would be detected using a proteomic approach. The objective of this pilot study was to determine if there are plasma proteome profiles that correlate with heavy alcohol use.

Methods: Paired serum samples, before and after intensive alcohol treatment, were obtained from subjects who attended an outpatient alcohol treatment program. Serum proteomic profiles using MALDI –OTOF Mass Spectrom- etry were compared between pre- and post treatment samples.

Results: Of 16 subjects who enrolled in the study, 8 were females. The mean age of the study subjects was 49 yrs. The baseline laboratory data showed elevated AST (54 ± 37 IU/L), ALT (37 ± 19 IU/L), and MCV (99 ± 5 fl). Self- reported pre-treatment drinking levels for these subjects averaged 17 ± 7drinks/day and 103 ± 37 drinks/week. Mass spectrometry analyses showed a novel 5.9 kDa protein, a fragment of alpha fibrinogen, isoform 1, that might be might be a new novel marker for abusive alcohol drinking.

Conclusions: We have shown in this pilot study that several potential protein markers have appeared in mass spectral profiles and that they may be useful clinically to determine the status of alcohol drinking by MALDI –OTOF mass spectrometry, especially a fragment of alpha fibrinogen, isoform 1. However, a large-scale study is needed to confirm and validate our current results.

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