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In FEBS open bio

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a severe lung disease with poor survival that warrants early and precise diagnosis for timely therapeutic intervention. Despite accumulating genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and lipidomic data on IPF, evidence from water-soluble metabolomics is limited. To identify biomarkers for IPF from water-soluble metabolomic data, we measured the levels of various metabolites in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and serum samples from a bleomycin-induced murine pulmonary fibrotic model using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Thirty-two of 73 BALF metabolites and 29 of 74 serum metabolites were annotated. We observed that the levels of proline and methionine were higher in BALF but lower in serum than those in the control. Furthermore, analysis of public RNA-seq data from the lungs of patients with IPF revealed that proline- and methionine-related genes were significantly up-regulated compared to those in the lungs of healthy controls. These results suggest that proline and methionine may be potential biomarkers for IPF, and may help to deepen our understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease. Based on our results, we propose a model capable of recapitulating the proline and methionine metabolism of fibrotic lungs, thereby providing better means for studying the disease and developing novel therapeutic strategies for IPF.

Nojima Yosui, Takeda Yoshito, Maeda Yohei, Bamba Takeshi, Fukusaki Eiichiro, Itoh Mari N, Mizuguchi Kenji, Kumanogoh Atsushi


BALF, IPF, biomarker, fibrotic mouse, metabolomics, serum