Gland Surg. 2020 Dec;9(6):2054-2063.doi: 10.21037/gs-20-814.

Proteomics-based analysis indicating α-enolase as a potential biomarker in primary Sjögren’s syndrome



  • 1 Department of Oral Medicine, Peking University School and Hospital of Stomatology, Beijing, China.
  • 2 Central Laboratory, Peking University School and Hospital of Stomatology, Beijing, China.

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Background: Primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS) is a chronic autoimmune disease. Its etiology is not well understood. Salivary glands are the main target organ in pSS, investigating the changes of salivary protein in pSS patients may not only be a valuable way of identifying new biomarkers/antigens for pSS, but also of revealing the pathogenesis underlying this autoimmune disease. In the present study, we aimed to investigate new biomarkers and explore their potential role in pSS.

Methods: In this study, α-enolase (ENO1) was found to be overexpressed in pSS by 1D gel electrophoresis/mass spectrometry. The finding was verified by Western blots, immunohistochemistry (IHC), and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results in both saliva and labial salivary glands. The expression level of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody to ENO1 was then tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Results: ENO1 autoantibody was found to be overexpressed in pSS compared with healthy controls. The effects of ENO1 overexpression on rat submandibular gland cell line SMG-C6 was investigated in vitro. The expressions of proteins related to saliva secretion and immunomodulatory were upregulated in ENO1 overexpressed SMG-C6 cells.

Conclusions: Both ENO1 and anti-ENO1 autoantibody are overexpressed in pSS patients. Nevertheless, their potential role in the pathogenesis of pSS warrants further study.

Keywords: Primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS); mass spectrometry; proteomics-based analysis; α-enolase (ENO1).