A review of studies of the proteomes of circulating microparticles: Key roles for galectin-3-binding protein-expressing microparticles in vascular diseases and systemic lupus erythematosus

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Subcellular microvesicles (MVs) have attracted increasing interest during the past decades. While initially considered as inert cellular debris, several important roles for MVs in physiological homeostasis, cancer, cardiovascular, and autoimmune diseases have been uncovered. Although still poorly understood, MVs are involved in trafficking of information from cell-to-cell, and are implicated in the regulation of immunity, thrombosis, and coagulation. Different subtypes of extracellular MVs exist. This review focuses on the cell membrane-derived shedded MVs (ranging in size from 200 to 1000 nm) typically termed microparticles (MPs). The numbers and particularly the composition of MPs appear to reflect the state of their parental cells and MPs may therefore carry great potential as clinical biomarkers which can be elucidated and developed by proteomics in particular. Determination of the identity of the specific proteins and their quantities, i.e. the proteome, in complex samples such as MPs enables an in-depth characterization of the phenotypical changes of the MPs during disease states. At present, only a limited number of proteomic studies of circulating MPs have been carried out in healthy individuals and disease populations. Interestingly, these studies indicate that a small set of MP-proteins, in particular, overexpression of galectin-3-binding protein (G3BP) distinguish MPs in patients with venous thromboembolism and the systemic autoimmune disease, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). G3BP is important in cell-cell adhesion, clearance, and intercellular signaling. MPs overexpressing G3BP may thus be involved in thrombosis and hemostasis, vascular inflammation, and autoimmunity, further favoring G3BP as a marker of "pathogenic" MPs. MPs expressing G3BP may also hold a potential as biomarkers in other conditions such as cancer and chronic viral infections. This review highlights the methodology and results of the proteome studies behind these discoveries and places them in a pathophysiological and biomarker perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
JournalClinical Proteomics
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Alpha-2-macroglobulin, Atherosclerosis, CD5 antigen-like protein, Galectin-3-binding protein, Lupus nephritis, Mac-2 binding protein, Mass spectrometry, Microparticles, Proteomics, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Venous thrombosis

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