Evaluation of differential serum expression of three factors and pulmonary function in patients with silicosis
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North China University of Science and Technology, Tangshan, China (School of Public Health)
Online publication date: 2021-02-25
Corresponding author
Xiang Ju Yuan   

North China University of Science and Technology, School of Public Health, 21 Bohai Road, Caofeidian County, Tangshan City, Hebei Province 063210, China
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2021;34(4):527-40
Objectives: Silicosis is a chronic occupational lung disease. As was previously found by the authors, some proteins increased in the lung tissue of activated rats, and protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 2 (PTPN2), factor B, and vaccinia-related kinase 1 (VRK1) showed highly differential expressions. Material and Methods: In this study, serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples were collected from patients with silicosis and healthy people to verify the expression of PTPN2, factor B, and VRK1. The diagnostic value of differentially expressed proteins for silicosis was judged. Results: The expression levels of serum PTPN2, VRK1, and factor B in patients with silicosis were significantly higher than those in the control group (p < 0.01). Higher serum PTPN2 and factor B concentrations significantly and negatively correlated with the ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 s to forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC), maximum vital capacity (VCmax), FEV1, and FVC, suggesting that the high expression of PTPN2 and factor B is associated with decreased pulmonary ventilation function and restrictive ventilatory impairment in patients with silicosis. All area under curve (AUC) measurements generated from single detection events were >0.744, with PTPN2 reaching the highest value (0.858). The AUC, sensitivity, and specificity for the combined diagnosis using factor B and PTPN2 were 0.907, 86.91% and 85.07%, respectively, for factor B and PTPN2. The 3 differentially expressed proteins are potential classes of predictive biomarkers for silicosis. Conclusions: Regarding the economy and test practicality, the best diagnostic combination is factor B and PTPN2 for the analysis of AUC, sensitivity and specificity. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2021;34(4):527–40
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