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Integrated Tear Proteome and Metabolome Reveal Panels of Inflammatory-Related Molecules via Key Regulatory Pathways in Dry Eye Syndrome

Chen, Xueli, Rao, Jun, Zheng, Zhi, Yu, Yan, Lou, Shang, Liu, Liping, He, Qinsi, Wu, Luhua, Sun, Xinghuai
Journal of proteome research 2019 v.18 no.5 pp. 2321-2330
amino acid metabolism, biomarkers, coagulation, complement, dry eye syndrome, eyes, gluconeogenesis, glycolysis, liquid chromatography, metabolites, metabolome, metabolomics, pathogenesis, pathophysiology, patients, proteins, proteome, proteomics, public health, tandem mass spectrometry
Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a growing public health concern with a high global prevalence; however, the fundamental processes involved in its pathogenic mechanisms remain poorly understood. In the present study, we applied nanoscale liquid chromatography and quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (nanoLC/Q-TOF-MS/MS) and ultraperformance LC/Q-TOF-MS/MS technologies on tear samples obtained from 18 dry eye patients and 19 healthy controls for integrated proteomic and metabolomic analyses. Overall, 1031 tear proteins were detected, while 190 proteins were determined to be significantly expressed in dry eye patients. Further functional analysis suggested that various biological processes were highly expressed and involved in the pathogenesis of DES, especially immune and inflammatory processes. In total, 156 named metabolites were identified, among which 34 were found to be significantly changed in dry eye patients. The results highlighted the key elements, especially inflammatory-related proteins and metabolites that played important roles in the development of DES. Further, the regulatory roles of primary pathways, including complement and coagulation cascades, glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, and amino acid metabolism, were also identified as processes involved in DES. Collectively, our work not only provided insight into the potential biomarkers of DES for diagnostic and prognostic purposes but extended our knowledge of the physiopathology of this syndrome.