Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland which affects approximately 10% of men. Despite its frequency, diagnosing prostatitis and monitoring patient response to treatment remains frustrating. As the prostate contributes a substantial percentage of proteins to seminal plasma, we hypothesized that a protein biomarker of prostatitis might be found by comparing the seminal plasma proteome of patients with and without prostatitis.
Using mass spectrometry, we identified 1708 proteins in the pooled seminal plasma of 5 prostatitis patients. Comparing this list to a previously published list of seminal plasma proteins in the pooled seminal plasma of 5 healthy, fertile controls yielded 1464 proteins in common, 413 found only in the control group, and 254 found only in the prostatitis group. Applying a set of criteria to this dataset, we generated a high-confidence list of 59 candidate prostatitis biomarkers, 33 of which were significantly increased in prostatitis as compared to control, and 26 of which were decreased. The candidates were analyzed using Gene Ontology and Ingenuity Pathway analysis to delineate their subcellular localizations and functions.
Thus, in this study, we identified 59 putative biomarkers in seminal plasma that need further validation for diagnosis and monitoring of prostatitis.