Protein expression changes caused by spaceflight as measured for 18 Russian cosmonauts.

Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 15;7(1):8142. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-08432-w.
M Larina I, Percy AJ, Yang J, Borchers CH, M Nosovsky A, I Grigoriev A, N Nikolaev E

The effects of spaceflight on human physiology is an increasingly studied field, yet the molecular mechanisms driving physiological changes remain unknown. With that in mind, this study was performed to obtain a deeper understanding of changes to the human proteome during space travel, by quantitating a panel of 125 proteins in the blood plasma of 18 Russian cosmonauts who had conducted long-duration missions to the International Space Station. The panel of labeled prototypic tryptic peptides from these proteins covered a concentration range of more than 5 orders of magnitude in human plasma. Quantitation was achieved by a well-established and highly-regarded targeted mass spectrometry approach involving multiple reaction monitoring in conjunction with stable isotope-labeled standards. Linear discriminant function analysis of the quantitative results revealed three distinct groups of proteins: 1) proteins with post-flight protein concentrations remaining stable, 2) proteins whose concentrations recovered slowly, or 3) proteins whose concentrations recovered rapidly to their pre-flight levels. Using a systems biology approach, nearly all of the reacting proteins could be linked to pathways that regulate the activities of proteases, natural immunity, lipid metabolism, coagulation cascades, or extracellular matrix metabolism.