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Screening of Serum Biomarkers and Establishment of a Decision Tree in Silica-Exposed Populations by Surface-Enhanced Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Fly Mass Spectrometry

Wang, Shi-Xin PhD; Zhao, Xue-Feng MMS; Wei, Mao-Ti MMS; Wu, You MMS; Zeng, Jia-Wei MMS; Liang, Xian-Cai BM; Yi, Jian-Hua MMS; He, Bing MMS; Tu, Zi-Guang MMS

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: July 2007 - Volume 49 - Issue 7 - p 764-770
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318058aa16
Original Articles

Objective: To screen for serum biomarkers of silicosis and to study their roles using surface-enhanced laser desorption ionization time-of-fly mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF-MS) techniques.

Methods: The serum protein/peptide profile on the CM10 proteinchip was acquired using SELDI-TOF-MS from workers classified by the Chinese national diagnostic standard for pneumoconiosis. Discriminant analysis was performed to establish a decision tree using protein/peptide peaks.

Results: Protein/peptide peaks changed much more in silica-exposed populations than they did in the control. Discriminant analysis using Wilks' lambda method could give high sensitivity and specificity in distinguishing the silica-exposed population from the control; the decision tree could give 100% sensitivity and 95% specificity in distinguishing the silicosis phase among the control group.

Conclusions: Special proteins/peptides may change in silica-exposed workers and these changes may be used to distinguish silica-exposed populations from the control with the proper discriminant analytical method.

From the Proteomics Laboratory (Zhao, Wu, Zeng, He, and Wei), Medical College of Chinese People's Armed Police Force, Tianjin, China; the Department of Laboratory Medicine (Zhao, Zeng, Tu), Chong Qing University of Medical Science, Chongqing, China; the CDC of Yangquan city (Liang), Shan-Xi Province, Yang Quan, China; and the Department of Prevention Medicine (Yi), Medical College of Xi'an JiaoTong University, Xi'an, China.

Address correspondence to Shi-Xin WANG, PhD, Proteomics Laboratory, Medical College of Chinese People's Armed Police Force, Tianjin, China; E-mail:

©2007The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine