Lemma M, Petkov S, Bekele Y, Petros B, Howe R, Chiodi F
Proteomes 8 (3) 24 [2020-09-07; online 2020-09-07]
Treatment of HIV-1-infected patients results in improved clinical and immunological conditions, but severe non-AIDS-related conditions still persist. Novel proteomic platforms have identified inflammatory proteins where abundance is dysregulated in adult treated patients, whereas limited data are available in treated HIV-1 infection of children. Using a proteomic plasma profiling approach comprising 92 inflammation-related molecules, we analyzed specimens from 43 vertically HIV-1-infected children receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART) and matched controls in Ethiopia. The infected children were analyzed as a group and separately, according to age of treatment initiation. Proteins displaying a significantly different abundance between groups were hierarchically clustered and presented in heat maps. Random forest analysis was performed to pin-point proteins discriminating between groups; five proteins (STAMBP, CD5, TFG-α, TRANCE, AXIN1) were the strongest prediction factors for treated HIV-1 infection. TRANCE was previously linked to reduced bone mass levels in HIV-1-infected children. CCL4 chemokine, ligand to HIV-1 co-receptor CCR5, was the most critical protein for successful classification between children who initiated ART at different time points. Our data provide evidence that a dysregulated expression of proteins linked to immunological abnormalities and bone metabolism can be found in HIV-1-infected children with prolonged exposure to ART.