Plasma proteome analysis reveals the geographical origin and liver disease status of dab (Limanda limanda) from UK marine waters

Douglas Ward, Wenbin Wei, Yaping Cheng, Lucinda Billingham, Ashley Martin, Philip Johnson, BP Lyons, SW Feist, GD Stentiford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)


The flatfish species dab (Limanda limanda) is the sentinel for offshore marine monitoring in the United Kingdom National Marine Monitoring Programme (NMMP). At certain sites in the North and Irish Seas, the prevalence of macroscopic liver tumors can exceed 10%. The plasma proteome of these fish potentially contains reporter proteins or "biomarkers" that may enable development of diagnostic tests for liver cancer and further our understanding of the disease. Following selection of sample groups by quality-assured histopathology ("phenotype anchoring"), we used surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization (SELDI) time-of-flight mass spectrometry to produce proteomic profiles of plasma from 213 dab collected during the 2004 UK NMMP. The resulting protein profiles were compared between fish from the North and Irish Seas and between fish with liver neoplasia or nondiseased liver. Significant differences were found between the plasma proteomes of dab from the North Sea and Irish Sea, which in conjunction with artificial neural networks can correctly determine from which sea dab were captured in 85% of the cases. In addition, the presence of liver tumors is associated with significant changes in the plasma proteome. We conclude that SELDI-based plasma profiling is potentially of use in nonlethal marine monitoring using wild sentinels such as dab. Furthermore, accurate selection of sample groups is critical for avoiding effects of confounding factors such as age, gender, and geographic origin of samples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4031-4036
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2006


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