Identification of differentially expressed proteins in the cervical mucosa of HIV-1-resistant sex workers

Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 2N2.
Journal of Proteome Research (Impact Factor: 5). 09/2008; 7(10):4446-54. DOI: 10.1021/pr800406r
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Novel tools are necessary to understand mechanisms of altered susceptibility to HIV-1 infection in women of the Pumwani Sex Worker cohort, Kenya. In this cohort, more than 140 of the 2000 participants have been characterized to be relatively resistant to HIV-1 infection. Given that sexual transmission of HIV-1 occurs through mucosal surfaces such as that in the cervicovaginal environment, our hypothesis is that innate immune factors in the genital tract may play a role in HIV-1 infection resistance. Understanding this mechanism may help develop microbicides and/or vaccines against HIV-1. A quantitative proteomics technique (2D-DIGE: two-dimensional difference in-gel electrophoresis) was used to examine cervical mucosa of HIV-1 resistant women ( n = 10) for biomarkers of HIV-1 resistance. Over 15 proteins were found to be differentially expressed between HIV-1-resistant women and control groups ( n = 29), some which show a greater than 8-fold change. HIV-1-resistant women overexpressed several antiproteases, including those from the serpin B family, and also cystatin A, a known anti-HIV-1 factor. Immunoblotting for a selection of the identified proteins confirmed the DIGE volume differences. Validation of these results on a larger sample of individuals will provide further evidence these biomarkers are associated with HIV-1 resistance and could help aid in the development of effective microbicides against HIV-1.

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