Published online Aug 21, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i31.5067
Revised: June 6, 2013
Accepted: June 19, 2013
Published online: August 21, 2013
AIM: To study the differential protein profile in serum of hepatitis B patients.
METHODS: Serum samples were obtained from patients with chronic hepatitis B who were receiving peginterferon alfa-2b. The serum samples were subjected to albumin depletion and analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE). Differentially expressed protein spots were identified by electrospray ionization-quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Alpha-2-HS-glycoprotein, complement component C3c and CD5 antigen were further analyzed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunonephelometry.
RESULTS: Nineteen patients with HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B (CHB) were studied. These patients were followed for at least 1 year after treatment and were classified according to their treatment response: responders (n = 9) and non-responders (n = 10). 2-DE and MS/MS analysis were performed to compare the serum proteins before initiating peginterferon alfa-2b. From the quantitative analysis of the 2-D gel, 7 proteins were detected between the two groups at different levels before treatment. Among these potential candidates, serum levels of alpha-2-HS-glycoprotein, complement component C3c and CD5 antigen-like precursor were further analyzed. In the validation phase, 23 subjects, 9 sustained responders and 14 non-responders, were recruited. Interestingly, the levels of alpha-2-HS-glycoprotein and complement component C3c were elevated in the serum of the non-responders compared to the responders.
CONCLUSION: Serum alpha-2-HS-glycoprotein and complement component C3c may be potential serum biomarkers in predicting the treatment response of peginterferon alfa-2b in patients with CHB prior to treatment.
Core tip: Serum proteins serve as non-invasive biomarkers for several diseases. This is the first report on the potential use of common protein levels in the serum of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients to predict treatment responsiveness to peginterferon alfa-2b. We identified 2 potential serum biomarkers, alpha-2-HS-glycoprotein and complement component C3c, that can be used to predict treatment outcome in patients with CHB receiving peginterferon alfa-2b. The identification of these biomarkers prior to treatment is preferable in order to avoid systemic side effects due to interferon therapy.