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Warinner C.,University of Oklahoma | Warinner C.,University of Zürich | Hendy J.,University of York | Speller C.,University of York | And 23 more authors.
Scientific Reports | Year: 2014

Milk is a major food of global economic importance, and its consumption is regarded as a classic example of gene-culture evolution. Humans have exploited animal milk as a food resource for at least 8500 years, but the origins, spread, and scale of dairying remain poorly understood. Indirect lines of evidence, such as lipid isotopic ratios of pottery residues, faunal mortality profiles, and lactase persistence allele frequencies, provide a partial picture of this process; however, in order to understand how, where, and when humans consumed milk products, it is necessary to link evidence of consumption directly to individuals and their dairy livestock. Here we report the first direct evidence of milk consumption, the whey protein β-lactoglobulin (BLG), preserved in human dental calculus from the Bronze Age (ca. 3000 BCE) to the present day. Using protein tandem mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that BLG is a species-specific biomarker of dairy consumption, and we identify individuals consuming cattle, sheep, and goat milk products in the archaeological record. We then apply this method to human dental calculus from Greenland's medieval Norse colonies, and report a decline of this biomarker leading up to the abandonment of the Norse Greenland colonies in the 15 th century CE. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Fischer R.,Henry Wellcome Building for Cellular and Molecular Physiology | Trudgian D.C.,Henry Wellcome Building for Cellular and Molecular Physiology | Wright C.,Henry Wellcome Building for Cellular and Molecular Physiology | Thomas G.,University of Queensland | And 4 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Proteomics | Year: 2012

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a common inflammatory rheumatic disease with a predilection for the axial skeleton, affecting 0.2% of the population. Current diagnostic criteria rely on a composite of clinical and radiological changes, with a mean time to diagnosis of 5 to 10 years. In this study we employed nano liquid-chromatography mass spectrometry analysis to detect and quantify proteins and small compounds including endogenous peptides and metabolites in serum from 18 AS patients and nine healthy individuals. We identified a total of 316 proteins in serum, of which 22 showed significant up- or down-regulation (p < 0.05) in AS patients. Receiver operating characteristic analysis of combined levels of serum amyloid P component and inter-α-trypsin inhibitor heavy chain 1 revealed high diagnostic value for Ankylosing Spondylitis (area under the curve = 0.98). We also depleted individual sera of proteins to analyze endogenous peptides and metabolic compounds. We detected more than 7000 molecular features in patients and healthy individuals. Quantitative MS analysis revealed compound profiles that correlate with the clinical assessment of disease activity. One molecular feature identified as a Vitamin D3 metabolite-(23S,25R)-25-hydroxyvitamin D3 26,23-peroxylactone-was down-regulated in AS. The ratio of this vitamin D metabolite versus vitamin D binding protein serum levels was also altered in AS as compared with controls. These changes may contribute to pathological skeletal changes in AS. Our study is the first example of an integration of proteomic and metabolomic techniques to find new biomarker candidates for the diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis. © 2012 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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