The Department of Biomedicine

BBB seminar: Albert Sickmann

Moving from inventory to personalized medicine: reducing cardiovascular mortality

Main content

Albert Sickmann
Bioanalytics Department, Leibniz-Institut für Analytische Wissenschaften - ISAS - e.V., Dortmund, Germany

More than 130 years ago, it was recognized that platelets are key mediators of hemostasis. Nowadays, it is established that platelets participate in additional physiological processes and contribute to the genesis and progression of cardiovascular diseases. Recent data indicate that the platelet proteome comprises >5000 proteins. By implication, in patients experiencing platelet disorders, platelet (dys)function is almost completely attributable to alterations in protein expression and dynamic differences in post-translational modifications. Consequently, platelet proteomics will represent an invaluable tool for characterizing the fundamental processes that affect platelet homeostasis and thus determine the roles of platelets in health and disease.

In principle, quantitative proteomics provides a powerful, high throughput technology to reveal multiple changes in platelet structure and functions, both in health and disease. However, only little is known to date about which types of changes in protein expression levels predict for abnormal platelet functions in defined genetic or clinical settings. Our earlier work indicated that, for platelets from healthy subjects, the intersubject variance was small for both low and high copy numbers, with 85% of the quantified proteins showing (almost) no variation between healthy donors. From this, one can hypothesize that only a subset of platelet proteins determines variation in platelet functions.

In the past few years, it has become increasingly clear that platelet proteomics can provide novel insights into basic research questions and thus improve our understanding about the fundamental processes that regulate platelets and can also contribute to the diagnosis of platelet disorders. The protein composition and the phosphorylation patterns of platelets will be useful to understand certain disease states and therapeutic interventions. In particular, quantitative phosphoproteomic studies will pave the way for a refined understanding of platelet properties.

Chairperson: Frode Berven, Department of Biomedicine