ABSTRACT: A high protein concentration in a pleural effusion makes it more likely to be a malignant than a transudative effusion. However, the variability in protein composition between these two forms of pleural effusion is not well understood. In order to compare their protein compositions, the proteomic profiles of 14 malignant and 13 transudative pleural effusions were studied using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Protein spots with differential expression were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. Targeted proteins were further examined by ELISA and Western immunoassay in all samples. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis revealed seven spots whose expression was reduced in malignant pleural effusions. Four of the abnormal spots were identified as fibrinogen gamma-chain precursor, two as fibrinogen beta-chain precursor and one as pigment epithelium-derived factor. ELISA and Western immunoassay showed that pigment epithelium-derived factor levels were significantly lower in malignant than in transudative pleural effusions. It has been demonstrated that proteomic technologies may help in the elucidation of variable expression of proteins with particular functions. By applying these technologies, the level of pigment epithelium-derived factor, a potent anti-angiogenic factor, was found to be significantly lower in malignant than in transudative pleural effusions. This finding allows for further exploration regarding how underexpression of pigment epithelium-derived factor may relate to the pathogenesis of malignant pleural effusions.
European Respiratory Journal 01/2007; 28(6):1178-85. · 5.89 Impact Factor