Original article
Prediction of cardiovascular risk in preterm neonates through urinary proteomics: An exploratory study
Estela Cabrala, Henrique Soaresb, Hercília Guimarãesb,c, Rui Vitorinoc,e,, , Rita Ferreirad, Tiago Henriques-Coelhob,c
a School of Health Sciences, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
b Departmento de Pediatria, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal
c Departamento de Cirurgia e Fisiologia, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal
d QOPNA, Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
e iBiMED, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
Received 06 March 2017, Accepted 10 April 2017
Abstract

Preterm birth has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in adulthood. The goal of our study was to give new molecular insights on the relationship between prematurity and CVD risk and to identify putative biomarkers that would facilitate the development of effective screening and therapeutic strategies. In this sense, mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics was applied to the characterization of urine protein profile.

GeLC–MS/MS analysis of urine (desalted and concentrated with a 10-kDa filter) followed by bioinformatics was applied for the characterization of preterm and full-term neonates. Urine proteome profiling retrieved 434 unique proteins, from which 126 were common to both groups, 37 were unique to preterm and 58 to full-term neonates. Protein-protein interaction analysis for unique proteins and common ones present in significant distinct levels retrieved immune system, metabolism, defense systems and tissue remodeling as the most representative clusters in preterm neonates.

Metabolic adaptation along with the up-regulation of heart growth (identified by angiotensinogen and retinol-binding protein 4) may account for an increased CVD risk in preterm neonates. These proteins may have predictive value of CVD in adulthood of this specific group of neonates. The follow-up of urinary proteome dynamics of preterm and full-term neonates will be crucial for the validation of this hypothesis.

Abbreviations
AGT, CVD, GeLC, MS, RBP4

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