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Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) keratitis is a major cause of corneal blindness in the world, and an in-depth understanding of its pathogenesis may help improve existing diagnosis and treatment. The purpose of this study is to compare and analysis the total tear protein profile of HSV-1 epithelial keratitis patients, and to quantify the potential candidate biomarkers of HSV-1 epithelial keratitis. We investigated the proteome in tear fluid from three HSV-1 epithelial keratitis patients and three healthy control subjects using nano-scale liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (nLC-MS/MS) analysis. Functional annotation of differentially expressed proteins was done with the Gene Ontology (GO) analysis. ELISA was done to quantify the potential candidate biomarkers in 26 clinical cases. Tear fluid from three HSV-1 epithelial keratitis patients and three healthy control subjects contained a total of 1275 proteins and 326 proteins were unique to tear fluid of HSV-1 epithelial keratitis patients. Bioinformatics analysis revealed that tear proteins from HSV-1 epithelial keratitis patients may be involved in metabolic processes, antigen presentation, inflammatory response, and in the TNF-mediated and T cell receptor pathways. Furthermore, IL1A, IL12B, DEFB4A, and CAMP, which are associated with the inflammatory response and inhibition of viral infection, were significantly more abundant in the HSV-1 epithelial keratitis patients than in the healthy control subjects. This study reports the proteomic profile of tears in HSV-1 epithelial keratitis for the first time and identifies a number of unique differentially expressed proteins.


Hua Yang, Xiaozhao Yang, Yani Wang, Xuan Zheng, Yi Zhang, Yan Shao. Comparative analysis of the tear protein profile in herpes simplex virus type 1 epithelial keratitis. BMC ophthalmology. 2020 Aug 31;20(1):355

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PMID: 32867704

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