Proteoglycan and proteome profiling of central human pulmonary fibrotic tissue utilizing miniaturized sample preparation: A feasibility study

Johan Malmström, Kristoffer Larsen, Lennart Hansson, Claes-Göran Löfdahl, Ole Nørregaard Jensen, György Marko-Varga, Gunilla Westergren-Thorsson

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The objective of this study was to isolate fibrotic cells from human lung biopsies taken from different central pulmonary locations. A comparison was made of cell morphology, proteoglycan- and protein-expression in mesenchymal cell cultures obtained from human bronchial biopsies from patients with asthmatic-like disorders. We isolated viable cells from 10 out of the 12 biopsies. The fibroblast-like cells were positive for the biomarker a-smooth muscle actin, indicating that the cells were in an activated state. Two different types of fibroblast-like cells were observed from human pulmonary connective tissue; one of contractile type with lamellipodia that facilitate migration and a second cell type with an increased cell size, which most likely is of a synthetic phenotype. This is the first evidence of alterations in the proteoglycan expression pattern of versican, perlecan, biglycan and decorin which can be linked to the pathophysiological state of asthmatics proven by a combination of solid-phase extraction by reversed phase and by peptide mass fingerprinting using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry. Protein expression analysis using two-dimensional electrophoresis was interfaced to miniaturized sample preparation techniques using microcapillary extraction. Four protein groups were identified; cytoskeletal, adhesion, scavenger and metabolic proteins. These patient's proteomes showed a high degree of heterogeneity between patients but larger homogeneity within biopsies derived from different locations of the same patient.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)394-404
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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