Introduction: Recently there have been indications that autoimmunity plays a role in the development and progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Previous studies have demonstrated that COPD patients have higher concentrations of autoantibodies which target a more diverse panel of auto-antigens. The aim of this project is to identify the antigenic targets of the autoantibodies in the serum of COPD patients using a proteomics approach to better understand disease progression.
Methods: Serum and tissue from COPD and donor (non-COPD) patients were obtained pre lung transplant at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Thoracic Department. Serum antibodies were isolated using immunoprecipitation and samples prepared for liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis using tryptic shotgun preparation methods.
Results: Using the mass spectrometry analysis, we identified proteins associated with the antibodies in the serum derived from all COPD and donor samples. These proteins are found in different abundance in the serum derived from COPD compared to healthy donor samples and have very diverse functions.
Conclusion: Different antigens were found in the patient cohorts studied in this project. Further examination is required to determine whether any of the autoantigens contribute to disease development and progression.