Haptoglobin (Hp) is produced as an acute phase reactant during inflammation, infection, malignant diseases, and several cancers. In proteomics analysis using human blood samples, the Hp peptide levels were about 3-fold higher in lung cancer patients versus normal individuals. This study is aimed at analyzing the elevation of which chain of Hp is closely related to lung cancers and can be a serum biomarker for lung cancers. In Western blot (WB) analysis, we found that the Hp β chain can be a better diagnostic biomarker for lung cancers. In the result of the Hp β chain ELISA developed by us, the concentrations of the Hp β chain in the sera increased about 4-fold in 190 lung adenocarcinoma patients versus 190 healthy controls (8.0 ± 3.8 μg ml−1vs. 1.9 ± 1.2 μg ml−1). ELISA data showed that the serum levels of the Hp β chain in breast cancer (1.5 ± 0.5 μg ml−1) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) (1.4 ± 1.0 μg ml−1) patients remained similar to those of healthy controls. Compared to lung adenocarcinoma, the Hp β chain levels in the plasma of patients with other respiratory diseases such as tuberculosis (TBC), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and bronchial asthma (BA) were closer to those of healthy controls. Our data suggest that an increase of the Hp β chain can be a potential serum biomarker for lung cancers.
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