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Monitoring changes in serum protein expression in response to acute events such as trauma, infection or drug intervention may reveal key proteins of great value in predicting recovery or treatment response. Concerted actions of many proteins are expected. Proteins sharing similar expression changes may function in the same physiological process. As a model we analyzed expression changes in serum of colon cancer patients, before, during, and after laparoscopic colon resection. Eight samples were taken from each of four patients before, during, and up to 5 days after surgery. Total serum and a low molecular weight fraction were analyzed by SELDI-TOF-MS. In total 146 masses were detected. A principal components analysis (PCA) illustrates the temporal variation in the postsurgery proteome. Time series for each mass could be clustered into four distinct groups based on similarity in expression pattern. Two masses of 11.4 and 11.6 kDa, part of a slow response cluster, were identified as forms of the acute phase protein serum amyloid A (SAA). Fourteen more proteins belong to this cluster and may also function in acute phase response. We present an approach to analyze temporal variation in the proteome. This approach may be useful to evaluate surgical, nutritional, and pharmacological interventions.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





3219 - 3228


Acute-Phase Proteins, Blood Proteins, C-Reactive Protein, Cluster Analysis, Colonic Neoplasms, Computational Biology, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Gene Expression Profiling, Humans, Interleukin-6, Kinetics, Molecular Weight, Principal Component Analysis, Proteome, Recombinant Proteins, Serum Amyloid A Protein, Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization