Proteomic Analysis of Amniotic Fluid Proteins for Predicting the Outcome of Emergency Cerclage in Women with Cervical Insufficiency

Joon Ho Lee, Ji Eun Lee, Ji Woong Choi, Mi Hee Han, Seung Yong Seong, Kyo Hoon Park, Jeong Woo Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We aimed to identify novel biomarkers in amniotic fluid (AF) that predict the outcome of emergency cerclage in women with cervical insufficiency. This retrospective cohort study included 40 singleton pregnant women who received emergency cerclage for cervical insufficiency (17–25 weeks) and underwent amniocentesis. Label-free liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was used to identify AF proteins in pooled samples (n = 16) using a nested case-control approach. The six candidate biomarkers of interest were validated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) in the final cohort (n = 40). The differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) were analyzed by pathway analysis software. The primary outcome measure was failure of emergency cerclage [defined as spontaneous preterm delivery (SPTD) at < 34 weeks of gestation after cerclage placement]. Sixty-eight proteins were differentially expressed (P < 0.001) in AF from SPTD cases and near-term controls, of which 44 (64.7%) were upregulated and 24 (35.3%) were downregulated. Validation by ELISA confirmed that AF from women with cerclage failure contained significantly higher levels of myeloperoxidase, lactoferrin, glucose-6-phosphate isomerase, lipocalin-2, and lymphocyte cytosolic protein 1, the first four of which were independent of cervical dilatation at presentation. The five pathways with the most differentially regulated proteins were actin cytoskeleton signaling, acute phase response signaling, ILK signaling, glycolysis, and gluconeogenesis. Proteomic analyses of AF in this study identified DEPs and specific protein pathways related to poor prognosis after emergency cerclage for cervical insufficiency. Four novel independent biomarkers in AF for cerclage failure have been identified using proteomics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1318-1329
Number of pages12
JournalReproductive Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020



  • Amniotic fluid
  • Cervical insufficiency
  • Emergency cerclage
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Proteomic biomarkers

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