Potential Biomarkers Identified for Ulcerative Colitis
16 Oct 2012
A novel technology was developed that can identify, in animal models, potential biomarkers of ulcerative colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the colon.
The protein arginine deiminases (PAD), which have been implicated in a number of diseases, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis, participate in reactions in the body that form the amino acid citrulline in proteins, through a process known as citrullination. This modification can have significant effects on the structure and function of the modified proteins.
Scientists used a chemical probe called rhodamine-phenylglyoxal (Rh-PG) to tag citrulline-containing proteins with a fluorescent imaging compound. The scientists were able to the use the probe to determine the kinetic parameters for a number of protein substrates, monitor drug efficacy, and identify disease biomarkers in an animal model of ulcerative colitis that displays aberrantly increased PAD activity.
Prof. Thompson, an associate professor in the department of chemistry at Scripps Research (Jupiter, FL, USA), said, “This identification of potential biomarkers in animal models of ulcerative colitis is really the first step in a much larger effort. We want to push forward into rheumatoid arthritis and cancer to look for different diagnostic markers in these disease situations.”
According to Paul Thompson, who led the study, the next step will be to produce further generations of this chemical probe that will enable isolation of more biomarker proteins and determine their sites of modification, as well as to quantify the extent of the citrullination.
The study, which was performed by scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute, was published October 3, 2012, in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.