There is currently an increasing interest in exploring human saliva to identify salivary diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, since the collection of saliva is rapid, non-invasive and stress-free. Diagnostic tests on saliva are common and cost-effective, particularly for patients who need to monitor their hormone levels or the effectiveness of undergoing therapies. Furthermore, salivary diagnostics is ideal for surveillance studies and in situations where fast results and inexpensive technologies are required. The most important constituents of saliva are proteins, the expression levels of which may be modified due to variations of the cellular conditions. Therefore, the different profile of proteins detected in saliva, including their absence, presence or altered levels, is a potential biomarker of certain physiological and/or pathological conditions. A promising novel approach to study saliva is the global analysis of salivary proteins using proteomic techniques. In the present study, surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flight/mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF/MS), one of the most recent proteomic tools for the identification of novel biomarkers, is reviewed. In addition, the possible use of this technique in salivary proteomic studies is discussed, since SELDI technology combines the precision of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-TOF/MS proteomic analysis and the high-throughput nature of protein array analysis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research