Extracellular matrix proteomics identifies molecular signature of symptomatic carotid plaques
journal contributionposted on 30.04.2018, 12:25 by S. R. Langley, K. Willeit, Athanasios Didangelos, L. P. Matic, P. Skroblin, J. Barallobre-Barreiro, M. Lengquist, G. Rungger, A. Kapustin, L. Kedenko, C. Molenaar, R. Lu, T. Barwari, G. Suna, X. Yin, B. Iglseder, B. Paulweber, P. Willeit, J. Shalhoub, G. Pasterkamp, A. H. Davies, C. Monaco, U. Hedin, C. M. Shanahan, J. Willeit, S. Kiechl, M. Mayr
BACKGROUND: The identification of patients with high-risk atherosclerotic plaques prior to the manifestation of clinical events remains challenging. Recent findings question histology- and imaging-based definitions of the "vulnerable plaque," necessitating an improved approach for predicting onset of symptoms. METHODS: We performed a proteomics comparison of the vascular extracellular matrix and associated molecules in human carotid endarterectomy specimens from 6 symptomatic versus 6 asymptomatic patients to identify a protein signature for high-risk atherosclerotic plaques. Proteomics data were integrated with gene expression profiling of 121 carotid endarterectomies and an analysis of protein secretion by lipid-loaded human vascular smooth muscle cells. Finally, epidemiological validation of candidate biomarkers was performed in two community-based studies. RESULTS: Proteomics and at least one of the other two approaches identified a molecular signature of plaques from symptomatic patients that comprised matrix metalloproteinase 9, chitinase 3-like-1, S100 calcium binding protein A8 (S100A8), S100A9, cathepsin B, fibronectin, and galectin-3-binding protein. Biomarker candidates measured in 685 subjects in the Bruneck study were associated with progression to advanced atherosclerosis and incidence of cardiovascular disease over a 10-year follow-up period. A 4-biomarker signature (matrix metalloproteinase 9, S100A8/S100A9, cathepsin D, and galectin-3-binding protein) improved risk prediction and was successfully replicated in an independent cohort, the SAPHIR study. CONCLUSION: The identified 4-biomarker signature may improve risk prediction and diagnostics for the management of cardiovascular disease. Further, our study highlights the strength of tissue-based proteomics for biomarker discovery. FUNDING: UK: British Heart Foundation (BHF); King's BHF Center; and the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Center based at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London in partnership with King's College Hospital. Austria: Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT); Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW); Wirtschaftsagentur Wien; and Standortagentur Tirol.