Washington, Mar 7 : A new technique has been developed that can separate and analyze all proteins found in human saliva other than just soluble ones.
This technique, called 'three-step peptide fractionation', can further provide an approach that may disclose protein markers for oral cancer and other disorders in the oral cavity.
It is known that saliva has a large number of proteins that could be used to screen for diseases, particularly oral diseases, but still the studies so far were centred on the small subset of free-floating saliva proteins.
In fact, oral cells contain far more proteins and analysis of these understudied proteins will be made possible by this 'three-step peptide fractionation' developed by Timothy Griffin, Nelson Rhodus and colleagues at American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
They examined saliva samples from four oral cancer patients and identified over 1000 human proteins, including many known cancer associated proteins.
Besides, they also separated out proteins from more than 30 different bacteria, many of which have not been previously found in saliva, and several of which may also have possible cancer links.
It was noted that the mortality rate for oral cancer has not much declined over the past 30 years and this technique, providing the first description of using whole cells to identify the vast array of human and bacterial proteins in saliva, may help identify new markers for oral cancer progression.