Identification and preliminary validation of novel biomarkers of acute hepatic ischaemia/reperfusion injury using dual-platform proteomic/degradomic approaches

Biomarkers. 2006 Jul-Aug;11(4):355-69. doi: 10.1080/13547500600775110.


Hepatic ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R), a major cause of liver damage associated with multiple trauma, haemorrhagic and septic shock, and liver transplantation, contributes significantly to multiple organ failure. Development of novel sensitive biomarkers that detect early stages of liver damage is vital for effective management and treatment of ischaemic liver injury. By using high-throughput immunoblotting and cation-anion exchange chromatography/reversed-phase liquid chromatography-tandem mass-spectrometry, we identified several hepatic proteins, including argininosuccinate synthase (ASS) and estrogen sulfotransferase (EST-1), which were degraded in the liver and rapidly released into circulation during I/R injury. ASS accumulated in serum within 10 min, reached a steady state at 30 min, and persisted up until 3 h after reperfusion following 30 min of total hepatic ischaemia. EST-1 appeared rapidly in blood and attained maximum within 1 hour followed by a decline at 3 h of reperfusion. No ASS or EST-1 protein was detected in serum of control or sham operated rats. ASS and EST-1 exhibited greater sensitivity and specificity toward I/R liver injury as compared with alanine aminotransferase (ALT), an established marker of hepatocellular necrosis. In contrast, serum ASS and EST-1 were undetectable in rats with chronic alcoholic liver disease, while the levels of ALT protein were significantly increased. In addition, ASS, but not EST-1 or ALT accumulated in blood only 6 h after treatment with hepatotoxic combination of lipopolysaccharide and D-galactosamine. These data demonstrate the utility of ASS and EST-1 as novel sensitive and specific biomarkers of acute liver ischaemic injury for prospective clinical studies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Argininosuccinate Synthase / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Biomarkers / chemistry
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods
  • Galactosamine / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides / metabolism
  • Liver / injuries
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Male
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology*
  • Sulfotransferases / metabolism
  • Time Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Galactosamine
  • Sulfotransferases
  • estrone sulfotransferase
  • Argininosuccinate Synthase