University of Buffalo Human Salivary Proteome Wiki May Provide Biomarkers for New Diagnostic Tools and Medical Laboratory Tests



The proteins in human saliva make up its proteome and could be the key to new precision medical diagnostics that would give clinical pathologists new abilities to identify diseases.

Clinical pathologists may soon have an array of new precision medicine diagnostic tools based on people’s saliva. There is an increasing number of “-omes” which may be the source of diagnostic biomarkers useful for the development of clinical laboratory tests. The latest is the world’s first wiki on the saliva protein biome.

Called Human Salivary Proteome Wiki (HSP Wiki), the “public data platform”, created by researchers at the University of Buffalo, is the “first of its kind,” according to Labroots, and “contains data on the thousands of proteins found in saliva”.

The HSP Wiki brings together data from independent studies on proteins found in human saliva. One of the researchers’ goals is to accelerate the development of saliva-based diagnostics and personalized medicine tools.

In “The Human Salivary Proteome Wiki: A Community-Driven Research Platform”, published in the Dental research journal, the researchers wrote, “Saliva has become an attractive bodily fluid for on-site, remote, and real-time monitoring of oral and systemic health. At the same time, the scientific community needs a saliva-centric information platform that keeps pace with the rapid accumulation of new data and knowledge by annotating, refining and updating the salivary proteome catalog. .

“We have developed the Human Salivary Proteome (HSP) Wiki as a public data platform for research and retrieval of personalized data and knowledge on the salivary proteome. … The HSP Wiki will pave the way for harnessing the full potential of the salivary proteome for diagnosis, risk prediction, treatment of oral and systemic diseases, and preparedness for emerging infectious diseases, ”they concluded.

“This database and community knowledge will pave the way for harnessing the full potential of salivary proteome for the diagnosis, risk forecasting and treatment of oral and systemic diseases, and increasing preparedness for future emerging diseases and pandemics ”, Stefan Ruhl, DDS, PhD (top right, with Omer Gokcumen, doctorate, associate professor of biological sciences at left), professor, Department of Oral Biology, University of Buffalo, and study principal investigator, said Labroots. The development of clinical laboratory diagnostics for precision medicine is part of their research objectives. (Photo Copyright: University of Buffalo.)

Where does saliva come from?

Saliva is a complex biological fluid that has long been linked to oral health and the health of the upper gastrointestinal tract. It was only recently, however, that scientists began to understand where the proteins in saliva come from.

Researchers in a study published in Cell reports, entitled “Functional specialization of human salivary glands and origins of proteins intrinsic to human saliva” sought to better understand the sources of saliva.

The authors wrote: “Salivary proteins are essential for maintaining the health of the oral cavity and the proximal digestive tract, and they serve as potential diagnostic markers to monitor human health and disease. However, their precise organ origins remain uncertain.

“Through the transcriptomic analysis of the major adult and fetal salivary glands and integration with the saliva proteome, blood plasma proteome and transcriptomes from more than 28 organs, we link human saliva proteins to their source, let’s identify the genes specific to the salivary glands and discover the fetus. – and repertoires of genes specific to adults ”, they added.

“Our results pave the way for future investigations into glandular biology and pathology, as well as the use of saliva as a diagnostic fluid,” the researchers concluded.

Saliva plays a crucial role in digestion by breaking down starches. It also provides a protective barrier in the mouth. In case of dysfunction of the salivary glands, patients can face serious health consequences. Although clinicians and scientists have long understood the importance of saliva for good health, the question now is whether it contains specific disease markers.

“The Human Salivary Proteome wiki contains proteomic, genomic, transcriptomic data, as well as data on glycoma, sugar molecules found on salivary glycoproteins. The new data goes through an interdisciplinary team of curators, which ensures that all input data is accurate and scientifically sound, ”noted Labroots.

Whole saliva graph
The graphic above “shows the interconnection of the thousands of salivary proteins from blood plasma, parotid glands, and submandibular and sublingual glands. The diagram is one of many tools available to researchers and clinicians via the Human Salivary Proteome Wiki, ”noted one. UBNow blog post. (Graphic copyright: University of Buffalo.)

Omics and their role in clinical laboratory diagnostics

Proteomics is just one of many extensive omics research that has the potential to become important personalized medicine and diagnostic tools for pathologists. Genomics is a related area of ​​research being studied for its potential to benefit precision medicine diagnostics.

However, unlike genomes, which don’t change, proteomes are constantly changing. This is one of the main reasons why the study of the human salivary proteome could lead to valuable diagnostic tools.

By combining the study of -omes with tools like mass spectrometry, a new era of pathology may be evolving. “With the rapidly decreasing costs of omics technologies in recent years, whole proteome profiling from tissue slides has become more accessible to diagnostic laboratories as a means of characterizing global protein expression patterns for assess the pathophysiology of diseases ”, noted Pathology news.

Saliva and the Age of Precision Medicine

The study of -omes can be an important part in the evolution of precision medicine, due to its ability to provide information about what is happening in the body of patients at the point of care.

In “Precision Medicine: Establishing Proteomic Assessment Criteria from Discovery to Clinical Diagnostics,” study authors Jennifer E. Van Eyk, PhD, director, Advanced Clinical Biosystems Research Institute, Department of Biomedical Sciences, and Kimia Sobhani, PhD, director , ER and Cancer Center Laboratories and associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, wrote: “The central goal of precision medicine is to deliver the right treatment to the right patient at the right time in function. their unique diagnosis / pathophysiological signature. . Success relies on the development of high quality biomarkers to aid in the diagnosis, prognosis and risk stratification of each patient. “

So a complete understanding of the saliva proteome and what causes it to change in response to different health issues and diseases could open the door to a whole new branch of laboratory medicine and diagnostics. It is easy and non-invasive to collect, and since saliva contains so much information, it offers an avenue of study that can improve the lives of patients.

It would also bring us closer to the era of precision medicine where clinical laboratory scientists and pathologists can bring even more value to treating physicians and their patients.

Dava stewart

Related information:

The Human Salivary Proteome Wiki: A Community-Driven Research Platform

Functional specialization of human salivary glands and the origins of proteins intrinsic to human saliva

Researchers create the first Saliva wiki

Precision medicine: establishing proteomic evaluation criteria from discovery to clinical diagnosis


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