Projects per year
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are neurodegenerative diseases that are considered to be on the same disease spectrum because of overlapping genetic, pathological and clinical traits. Changes in serum proteins in FTD and ALS are poorly understood, and currently no definitive biomarkers exist for diagnosing or monitoring disease progression for either disease. Here we applied quantitative discovery proteomics to analyze protein changes in FTD (N = 72) and ALS (N = 28) patient serum compared to controls (N = 22). Twenty three proteins were significantly altered in FTD compared to controls (increased—APOL1, C3, CTSH, EIF5A, MYH2, S100A8, SUSD5, WDR1; decreased—C1S, C7, CILP2, COMP, CRTAC1, EFEMP1, FBLN1, GSN, HSPG2, IGHV1, ITIH2, PROS1, SHBG, UMOD, VASN) and 14 proteins were significantly altered in ALS compared to controls (increased—APOL1, CKM, CTSH, IGHG1, IGKC, MYH2; decreased—C7, COMP, CRTAC1, EFEMP1, FBLN1, GSN, HSPG2, SHBG). There was substantial overlap in the proteins that were altered in FTD and ALS. These results were validated using western blotting. Gene ontology tools were used to assess functional pathways potentially dysregulated in the two diseases, and calcium ion binding and innate immunity pathways were altered in both diseases. When put together, these results suggest significant overlap in pathophysiological peripheral changes in FTD and ALS. This study represents the first proteomics side-by-side comparison of serum changes in FTD and ALS, providing new insights into under-recognized perturbed pathways and an avenue for biomarker development for FTD and ALS.