Subtyping Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Using Peripheral Blood Proteomics.

Sara Zarei, Ali Mirtar, Jarrett D Morrow, Peter J Castaldi, Paula Belloni, Craig P Hersh,

Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (Miami, Fla.), August 29, 2017

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a heterogeneous disorder. COPD patients may have different clinical features, imaging characteristics and natural history. Multiple studies have investigated heterogeneity using statistical methods such as unsupervised clustering to define different subgroups of COPD based largely on clinical phenotypes. Some studies have performed clustering using genetic data or limited numbers of blood biomarkers. Our primary goal was to use proteomic data to find subtypes of COPD within clinically similar individuals. In the Treatment of Emphysema with a gamma-Selective Retinoid Agonist (TESRA) study, multiplex biomarker panels were run in serum samples collected prior to randomization. After implementing an algorithm to minimize missing values, the dataset included 396 COPD individuals and 87 biomarkers. Using hierarchical clustering, we identified 3 COPD subgroups, containing 267 (67.4%), 104 (26.3%), and 25 (6.3%) individuals, respectively. The third cluster had less emphysema on quantitative analysis of chest computed tomography scans (p=0.03) and worse disease-related quality of life based on the St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (total score cluster 1: 45.6, cluster 2: 45.4, cluster 3: 56.6; p=0.01), despite similar levels of lung function impairment (forced expiratory volume in 1 second (49.2%, 49.2%, 48.2 % predicted, respectively). Enrichment analysis showed the biomarkers distinguishing cluster 3 mapped to platelet alpha granule and cell chemotaxis pathways. Thus, we identified a subgroup which has less emphysema but may have greater inflammation, which could be potentially targeted with anti-inflammatory therapies.

Pubmed Link: 28848918

DOI: 10.15326/jcopdf.4.2.2016.0147