The plasma microparticle proteome

Kristina M. Little, David M. Smalley, Nancy L. Harthun, Klaus Ley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


All cell types shed ectosomes and exosomes, collectively known as microparticles (MP; 0.1 to 1.5 m in diameter), when activated or stressed; normal human plasma contains ∼2 g MP protein/mL. The cellular composition of plasma MP is altered in many diseases, including acute coronary syndrome, diabetes mellitus, sepsis, and sickle cell disease. We measured the plasma MP protein composition of 42 patients (median age 69.5 years, most with cardiovascular disease) by label-free liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry. Among 458 proteins detected with high confidence (identified by at least two unique peptides with SEQUEST XCor (Thermo Electron Corp., San Jose, CA) 2.0, 2.2, and 3.3 for charge states +1, +2, and +3, respectively), 130 were present in most patients, representing a core set of plasma MP proteins. This core is enriched in cytoskeletal, integrin complex, and hemostasis proteins, and spectral counts of several proteins correlate with patient age and gender. We conclude that the MP proteome may be a useful and reliable source of biologically relevant disease biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-856
Number of pages12
JournalSeminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Mass spectrometry
  • microparticles
  • proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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