The peripheral blood proteome signature of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is distinct from normal and is associated with novel immunological processes.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive and fatal interstitial pneumonia. The disease pathophysiology is poorly understood and the etiology remains unclear. Recent advances have generated new therapies and improved knowledge of the natural history of IPF. These gains have been brokered by advances in technology and improved insight into the role of various genes in mediating disease, but gene expression and protein levels do not always correlate. Thus, in this paper we apply a novel large scale high throughput aptamer approach to identify more than 1100 proteins in the peripheral blood of well-characterized IPF patients and normal volunteers. We use systems biology approaches to identify a unique IPF proteome signature and give insight into biological processes driving IPF. We found IPF plasma to be altered and enriched for proteins involved in defense response, wound healing and protein phosphorylation when compared to normal human plasma. Analysis also revealed a minimal protein signature that differentiated IPF patients from normal controls, which may allow for accurate diagnosis of IPF based on easily-accessible peripheral blood. This report introduces large scale unbiased protein discovery analysis to IPF and describes distinct biological processes that further inform disease biology.