Clinical profile of a new serum biomarker as a potential product of endogenous human retroviral protein degradation in patients with multiple sclerosis

N.O. Negrych, T.I. Nehrych, A.V. Payenok, N.P. Voloshyna, S.L. Myronovskij, Yu.Ya. Kit, R.S. Stoika


Background. The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between the level of Ser-Pro-Cys peptide in the blood serum of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and the demographic characteristics of the examined patients, as well as the features of the disease. Materials and methods. 61 patients with multiple sclerosis and 20 healthy individuals aged 19–57 years participated in the research. Methods of investigation: clinical — analysis of complaints, history of disease and life, general and neurological examinations; laboratory — the serum proteins were successively precipitated with trichloroacetic acid (TCA). The generated TCA-extracted fraction was subjected to high-performance liquid chromatography at a wavelength of 280 nm. Using the two-dimensional thin-layer chromatography and mass spectrometry, Ser-Pro-Cys oligopeptide was identified. Results. A significant difference was found between the mean Ser-Pro-Cys peptide serum level in patients with MS of various age and gender groups compared to the control group (p < 0.01). Instead, there were no significant differences in Ser-Pro-Cys peptide serum level between males and females with MS. Regardless of the characteristics of the neurological manifestations and the age of disease onset, in all groups of patients with MS, Ser-Pro-Cys peptide serum concentration was higher compared to the control group (p < 0.05). The mean Ser-Pro-Cys peptide serum level in MS patients with different duration of the disease and with varying degrees of disability was significantly higher compared to the control group (p < 0.01). Conclusions. Ser-Pro-Cys peptide level was significantly higher in patients with MS even at the disease onset, compared to the healthy volunteers. Significantly higher values of this oligopeptide in thу blood serum of MS patients were maintained throughout the all duration of the disease, as well as at all levels of patients’ disability, compared to the results of the control group. The revealed patterns correlate with the literature data in favor of the pro-inflammatory and myelinotoxic functions of the human endogenous retrovirus W, the probable fragment of which is the Ser-Pro-Cys peptide that we have isolated.


multiple sclerosis; endogenous retrovirus; biomarker; Ser-Pro-Cys peptide


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