Proteomic Markers of Alcohol Abuse (Phase 1)

Period of Performance: 09/30/2003 - 08/31/2004


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Lohocla Research Corporation
Aurora, CO 80045
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Alcohol dependence and hazardous levels of ethanol ingestion are under-diagnosed and under-reported. Significant effort has been expended to develop biological markers (diagnostics) for monitoring levels and/or recency of alcohol use (state markers) and markers for predisposition to alcohol dependence (trait, "etiologic", markers). However, this area of research has not yet generated unequivocal tools to be used by treatment and prevention specialists and others interested in such information. A new era in science emerged with the detailed knowledge of the human genome and the human proteome is now being defined. The power of proteomic techniques and informatics technology is ready to be applied to the search for better (more reliable) diagnostic tools for hazardous alcohol use and alcoholism. Lohocla Research Corporation has access to biological samples (plasma, serum and platelets) from over 1,000 individuals who are well characterized with regards to drinking habits, medical/psychiatric disorders, family history of medical/psychiatric disorders, drug use, etc. Lohocla will partner with Eprogen, the developers of the ProteoSep TM proteomic technology, to discover and test a novel panel of diagnostics for alcohol use, abuse and alcoholism. Phase I studies, will test the feasibility of using ProteoSep TM technology to identify and quantitate proteins already known to be altered by alcohol intake/alcoholism and to identify novel candidate markers. We will establish proteomic methodology (ProteoSep TM) to accurately measure currently used state markers for excessive alcohol ingestion (GGT, AST and CDT) in plasma and serum samples and develop a measurement, with ProteoSep TM technology, of MAO-B protein in platelet samples. A panel of bioinformatic/statistical tools will be applied to search for new markers. If we are able to successfully measure the levels of proteins such as GGT, AST, CDT and MAO, these proteins will form "internal standards" against which other novel marker proteins can be tested in Phase II. Phase I studies will also provide the initial panel of candidate markers to be assessed in a significantly greater number of subjects in Phase ll.