The human protein atlas blog

Investigating brain-enriched proteins

Brain Central nervous system Neurodegenerative disease

Overview of the study

In a recent study published in Proteomics Clinical Applications researchers from the Human Protein Atlas have profiled 280 brain-enriched proteins in cerebrospinal fluid from patients with Alzheimer´s disease, Parkinson´s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. This study is part of a larger effort aiming to expand the knowledge of brain-enriched proteins in human cerebrospinal fluid and to provide novel insight into the relation between such proteins and different neurodegenerative diseases.

The researchers report a multiplexed protein profiling using an affinity-based proteomics approach to generate cerebrospinal fluid profiles of brain-enriched proteins.

As the brain is well protected and only accessible through invasive surgery, direct assessment of disease processes in living patients is limited. This has lead to the utilization of other biological sample materials with a proximity to the brain. Cerebrospinal fluid is one such material commonly used to monitor both normal and pathological conditions of the human brain.

Among several proteins displaying differentiated profiles between the groups in this study, the researchers focus here on two synaptic proteins, neuromodulin (GAP43) and neurogranin (NRGN). They were both found at elevated levels in cerebrospinal fluid from patients with Alzheimer´s disease in two independent cohorts, providing disease-associated profiles in addition to verifying and strengthening previously observed patterns. Increased levels were also observed for patients for whom the Alzheimer´s diagnosis was not established at the time of sampling. These findings indicate that analyzing the brain-enriched proteins in cerebrospinal is of particular interest to increase the understanding of the cerebrospinal proteome and its relation to neurodegenerative disorders. In addition, this study lends support to the notion that measurements of these synaptic proteins could potentially be of great relevance in future diagnostic tests for Alzheimer´s disease.

In conclusion, the findings presented in this study can extend our knowledge of the protein content in the central nervous system and may also aid in the search for novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for such disorders.

Read the whole study about proteins in cerebrospinal fluid.

Explore the brain-specific proteome.

Learn more about neuragranin and neuromodulin .

Frida Henningson Johnson

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