Serum biomarkers of hepatitis B virus infected liver inflammation: a proteomic study

Proteomics. 2003 May;3(5):666-74. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200300394.


Hepatitis B virus (HBV), a serious infectious and widespread human pathogen, represents a major health problem worldwide. Chronic HBV infection has a very high risk of evolving into hepatocellular carcinoma. Although considerable progress was made during the recent past, the pathogenesis of HBV infection is still elusive and a definite diagnosis of HBV infected liver information still relies on biopsy histological test. In this report, we used proteomics technology to globally examine HBV infected serum samples aiming at searching for disease-associated proteins that can be used as serological biomarkers for diagnosis and/or target proteins for pathogenetic study. By comparing with normal and HBV negative serum samples, we found that at least seven proteins were significantly changed in HBV infected sera. These greatly altered proteins were identified to be haptoglobin beta and alpha2 chain, apolipoprotein A-I and A-IV, alpha1-antitrypsin, transthyretin and DNA topoisomerase IIbeta. The alteration of these proteins is displayed not only in quantity but also in patterns (or specificity), which can be correlated with necroinflammatory scores. In particular, apolipoprotein A-I presents heterogeneous change in expression level with different isoforms and alpha1-antitrypsin produces evidently different fragments implying diverse cleavage pathways. These unique phenomena appear specific to HBV infection. A combination simultaneously considering the quantities and isoforms of these proteins could be a useful serum biomarker (or index) for HBV diagnosis and therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Apolipoproteins A / blood
  • Apolipoproteins A / isolation & purification
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Proteins / isolation & purification
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II / blood
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II / isolation & purification
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Female
  • Haptoglobins / isolation & purification
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prealbumin / isolation & purification
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Silver
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Staining and Labeling
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin / isolation & purification


  • Apolipoproteins A
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Haptoglobins
  • Prealbumin
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin
  • Silver
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II