Identification of human nasal mucous proteins using proteomics

Proteomics. 2005 Jul;5(11):2949-59. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200401172.


The determination of possible biomarkers in nasal secretion of healthy subjects can have a role in early diagnosis of diseases such as rhinosinusitis. For this purpose, nasal lavage fluids (NLFs) from ten volunteers, collected before and after they had been submitted to nasal provocations, were investigated. Separation and analysis of proteins present in this complex matrix was performed using a capillary liquid chromatography-electrospray-quadrupole-time of flight mass spectrometry equipment. From among a total of 111 proteins found (89 known and two unknown proteins), 42 of which had never been previously described in this fluid, such as Deleted in Malignant Brain Tumors 1 isoform a precursors, and cytoskeletal proteins were identified with high statistical score. Three proteins of palate lung nasal epithelial clone (PLUNC) family: SPLUNC1, LPLUNC1, and LPLUNC2 were identified. Proteins involved in innate (27%) and acquired immunity (21%) systems were major components of NLF. Cellular (52% of all proteins identified) such as cytoskeletal (33%), functional (15%), and regulatory (4%) proteins, normally present in the nasal cavity, have also been identified. The proteomic approach presented here allowed us to identify the proteins involved in acquired and innate immune response in the nose against microbial infections and unclean inhaled air.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunity, Mucosal
  • Mucus / chemistry*
  • Nasal Lavage Fluid / chemistry*
  • Nasal Mucosa / chemistry
  • Nasal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Proteins / analysis*
  • Proteomics
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization


  • Proteins