Developing Clinically Relevant Biomarkers in Inflammatory Arthritis: A Multi-Platform Approach for Serum Candidate Protein Discovery

To identify candidate biomarkers that have the potential to distinguish between patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and explore the value of combining different protein discovery platforms for the development of a multiplexed protein biomarker panel.

Methods

Serum samples from 32 patients (PsA; n = 16 and RA; n = 16) defined as active, early onset and treatment naïve were analysed using unbiased label-free liquid chromatography mass-spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), a microsphere bead-based immunoassay (Luminex xMAP) and an aptamer based assay (SOMAscan).

Results

LC-MS/MS was used to quantify 324 proteins, while the Luminex xMAP targeted 48 proteins and SOMAscan supported the measurement of 1129 proteins. The combined data from these techniques gave reproducible quantification of 1501 proteins in total. Of these, 42 (LC-MS/MS), 3 (Luminex xMAP) and 127 (SOMAscan) proteins were found to be differentially expressed between PsA and RA (p < 0.05).

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance

Using 3 different and potentially complementary proteomic platforms we identified a total of 172 proteins that are differentially expressed in patients with PsA compared to RA. These proteins collectively represent candidates for inclusion in a protein signature that could be developed as a diagnostic test to discriminate patients with PsA from RA and therefore be of clinical utility.