Proteomic Studies for the Investigation of γ-Globin Induction by Decitabine in Human Primary Erythroid Progenitor Cultures

J Clin Med. 2020 Jan 3;9(1):134. doi: 10.3390/jcm9010134.


Reactivation of γ-globin is considered a promising approach for the treatment of β-thalassemia and sickle cell disease. Therapeutic induction of γ-globin expression, however, is fraught with lack of suitable therapeutic targets. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects that treatment with decitabine has on the proteome of human primary erythroid cells from healthy and thalassemic volunteers, as a means of identifying new potential pharmacological targets. Decitabine is a known γ-globin inducer, which is not, however, safe enough for clinical use. A proteomic approach utilizing isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) analysis, in combination with high-pH reverse phase peptide fractionation followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), was employed to investigate the effects of decitabine treatment. Bioinformatics analysis making use of the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery (DAVID) was employed for functional annotation of the 192 differentially expressed proteins identified. The data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD006889. The proteins fall into various biological pathways, such as the NF-κB signaling pathway, and into many functional categories including regulation of cell proliferation, transcription factor and DNA binding, protein stabilization, chromatin modification and organization, and oxidative stress proteins.

Keywords: HbF; beta-thalassemia; decitabine; iTRAQ; primary human erythroid cultures; γ-globin.