Saturday, January 10, 2015

Proteomic analysis of hairdresser mucus.

This has to be an entry.  Its a super-unique study and I was able to find the two images I've plugged in here to go along with it.

Background:  Hairdressers have increased risk of having problems with their airways.  It is thought that the reason for this has something to do with the nasty hair bleaching compounds, but not much else is known about it.  Sounds like a job for Proteomics!

Experimental setup: A nasal mist solution was created that featured the nasty hair bleach compounds. Hairdressers diagnosed with sinus problems linked to these compounds and people without these problems were exposed to the nasal mist.  Both previous to and post- nasal spray, the (hopefully well compensated) individuals were subject to nasal lavage (also known as irrigation, which seems like a less pleasant term...).  The resulting nasal output was filtered and digested in the way we'd digest every other protein source.

The resulting peptides were studied by SRM, looking for 200-300 peptide species. I'm a little unclear from the paper why these targets were chosen. I assumed we'd be looking at a global discovery quan experiment, but it is pretty clear these investigators know a lot more about nasal irrigation than I do.

The results of the study indicate both differential expression of some proteins involved in epithelial barriers, as well as significant levels of oxidation of many proteins studied (which they must have known about before or they wouldn't have been able to set up their SRM transitions).

All in all, an interesting system. Due to the small sample size (humans) several levels of statistical analysis were used to determine significance of observations and that is a real shining point in this paper.

The paper is by Neserin Ali and you can find it in its ASAP format at JPR here.

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