SRM targeted proteomics in search for biomarkers of HCV-induced progression of fibrosis to cirrhosis in HALT-C patients.
The current gold standard for diagnosis of hepatic fibrosis and cirrhosis is the traditional invasive liver biopsy. It is desirable to assess hepatic fibrosis with noninvasive means. Targeted proteomic techniques allow an unbiased assessment of proteins and might be useful to identify proteins related to hepatic fibrosis. We utilized selected reaction monitoring (SRM) targeted proteomics combined with an organ-specific blood protein strategy to identify and quantify 38 liver-specific proteins. A combination of protein C and retinol-binding protein 4 in serum gave promising preliminary results as candidate biomarkers to distinguish patients at different stages of hepatic fibrosis due to chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Also, alpha-1-B glycoprotein, complement factor H and insulin-like growth factor binding protein acid labile subunit performed well in distinguishing patients from healthy controls. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.