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Maud Lacombe

Development of proteomic analysis methods for translational exploration of Wilson's disease

Published on 18 December 2018
Thesis presented December 18, 2018

Abstract:
Wilson’s disease is a rare genetic disorder triggered by mutations in the ATP7B gene, which encodes a transport protein involved in copper transport and excretion, triggering toxic copper overloads in the liver and the brain. The lack of genotype-phenotype correlation and phenotype variability lead to clinical care difficulties, especially for the diagnosis and biological follow up of patients.
In this study, we initiated the discovery and evaluation of biomarker candidates for the diagnosis of Wilson’s disease and for early prognosis towards neurological manifestation. With the availability of the Atp7b-/- mice model, we engaged a preclinical study leading to the qualification of a panel of 7 biomarker candidates. These results allowed us to raise the interest of the National Reference Center for Wilson’s disease (CNR) medical teams in Lyon and Paris and to engage a close collaboration to initiate clinical study. Using a first plasma cohort from Wilson’s disease patients, we assessed the translational and clinical value of the 7 biomarker candidates and engage discovery study on patients’ plasma samples. Furthermore, we also studied the molecular mechanisms involved in liver pathophysiology using the Atp7b-/- mice model using discovery proteomics. These investigations led to the identification of a new potential therapeutic target.

Keywords:
Wilson’s disease, biomarker, clinical proteomics, mass spectrometry