Profiling tear proteomes of patients with unilateral relapsed Behcet's disease-associated uveitis using data-independent acquisition proteomics

PeerJ. 2020 Jun 19:8:e9250. doi: 10.7717/peerj.9250. eCollection 2020.


Purpose: To explore whether unilateral relapse of Bechet's disease-associated uveitis (BDU) causes differences in the tear proteome between the diseased and the contralateral quiescent eye and potential tear biomarkers for uveitis recurrence and disease monitoring.

Method: To minimize interindividual variations, bilateral tear samples were collected from the same patient (n = 15) with unilateral relapse of BDU. A data-independent acquisition (DIA) strategy was used to identify proteins that differed between active and quiescent eyes.

Results: A total of 1,797 confident proteins were identified in the tear samples, of which 381 (21.2%) were also highly expressed in various tissues and organs. Fifty-one (2.8%) proteins differed in terms of expression between tears in active and quiescent eyes, 9 (17.6%) of which were functionally related to immunity or inflammation. Alpha-1-acid glycoprotein 1 (fold change = 3.2, p = 0.007) was increased and Annexin A1 (fold change = -1.7, p < 0.001) was decreased in the tears of the active BDU eye compared to the contralateral quiescent eye.

Conclusions: A substantial amount of confident proteins were detected in the tears of BDU patients, including proteins that were deferentially expressed in the uveitis-relapsed eyes and the contralateral quiescent eyes. Some of these identified tear proteins play important roles in immune and inflammatory processes. Tear proteome might be a good source of biomarkers for uveitis.

Keywords: Behcet’s disease; Biomarkers; Intraocular inflammation; Tear proteomics; Uveitis.

Grants and funding

This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFC0910202, 2016YFC1306300), Beijing Natural Science Foundation (7172076 and 7192174), Beijing cooperative construction project (110651103), Beijing Normal University (11100704) and 2016 PUMCH Science Fund for Junior Faculty (pumch-2016-2.27). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.