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Mass Spectrometry-Based Proteomics for Pre-Eclampsia and Preterm Birth

1,2,*, 1,2, 1,3,* and 1,2
China-Canada-New Zealand Joint Laboratory of Maternal and Fetal Medicine, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China
The Liggins Institute, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
Department of Obstetrics, the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: William Chi-shing Cho
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(5), 10952-10985;
Received: 31 March 2015 / Accepted: 4 May 2015 / Published: 14 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prediction, Diagnostics and Prevention of Pregnancy Complications)
PDF [1954 KB, uploaded 14 May 2015]


Pregnancy-related complications such as pre-eclampsia and preterm birth now represent a notable burden of adverse health. Pre-eclampsia is a hypertensive disorder unique to pregnancy. It is an important cause of maternal death worldwide and a leading cause of fetal growth restriction and iatrogenic prematurity. Fifteen million infants are born preterm each year globally, but more than one million of those do not survive their first month of life. Currently there are no predictive tests available for diagnosis of these pregnancy-related complications and the biological mechanisms of the diseases have not been fully elucidated. Mass spectrometry-based proteomics have all the necessary attributes to provide the needed breakthrough in understanding the pathophysiology of complex human diseases thorough the discovery of biomarkers. The mass spectrometry methodologies employed in the studies for pregnancy-related complications are evaluated in this article. Top-down proteomic and peptidomic profiling by laser mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography or capillary electrophoresis coupled to mass spectrometry, and bottom-up quantitative proteomics and targeted proteomics by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry have been applied to elucidate protein biomarkers and biological mechanism of pregnancy-related complications. The proteomes of serum, urine, amniotic fluid, cervical-vaginal fluid, placental tissue, and cytotrophoblastic cells have all been investigated. Numerous biomarkers or biomarker candidates that could distinguish complicated pregnancies from healthy controls have been proposed. Nevertheless, questions as to the clinically utility and the capacity to elucidate the pathogenesis of the pre-eclampsia and preterm birth remain to be answered. View Full-Text
Keywords: pre-eclampsia; preterm birth; mass spectrometry; proteomics; protein biomarkers pre-eclampsia; preterm birth; mass spectrometry; proteomics; protein biomarkers

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Law, K.P.; Han, T.-L.; Tong, C.; Baker, P.N. Mass Spectrometry-Based Proteomics for Pre-Eclampsia and Preterm Birth. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 10952-10985.

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