Transection injury differentially alters the proteome of the human sural nerve

Monica J. Chau, Jorge E. Quintero, Eric Blalock, Stephanie Byrum, Samuel G. Mackintosh, Christopher Samaan, Greg A. Gerhardt, Craig G. van Horne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Regeneration after severe peripheral nerve injury is often poor. Knowledge of human nerve regeneration and the growth microenvironment is greatly lacking. We aimed to identify the regenerative proteins in human peripheral nerve by comparing the proteome before and after a transection injury. In a unique study design, we collected closely matched samples of naïve and injured sural nerve. Naïve and injured (two weeks after injury) samples were analyzed using mass spectrometry and immunoassays. We found significantly altered levels following the nerve injury. Mass spectrometry revealed that injury samples had 568 proteins significantly upregulated and 471 significantly downregulated compared to naïve samples (q-value ≤ 0.05 and Z ≥ |2| (log2)). We used Gene Ontology (GO) pathway overrepresentation analysis to highlight groups of proteins that were significantly upregulated or downregulated with injury-induced degeneration and regeneration. Significant protein changes in key pathways were identified including growth factor levels, Schwann cell de-differentiation, myelination downregulation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and axonal regeneration pathways. The proteomes of the uninjured nerve compared to the degenerating/regenerating nerve may reveal biomarkers to aid in the development of repair strategies such as infusing supplemental trophic factors and in monitoring neural tissue regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0260998
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11 November
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Chau et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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