DOI: 10.1111/jre.13169 ISSN: 0022-3484

Proteomic profile of human gingival crevicular fluid reveals specific biological and molecular processes during clinical progression of periodontitis

Alfredo Torres, M. Angélica Michea, Ákos Végvári, Marion Arce, Alicia Morales, Elías Lanyon, Marcela Alcota, Camila Fuentes, Rolando Vernal, Mauricio Budini, Roman A. Zubarev, Fermín E. González
  • Periodontics


Background and Objective

There is no clear understanding of molecular events occurring in the periodontal microenvironment during clinical disease progression. Our aim was to explore qualitative and quantitative differences in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) protein profiles from patients diagnosed with periodontitis between non‐progressive and progressive periodontal sites.


Five systemically healthy patients diagnosed with periodontitis were monitored weekly in their progression of the disease and GCF samples from 10 candidate sites were obtained. Two groups of five sites, matched from an equal number of teeth, were selected from the five patients: Progression (PG) and Non‐Progression (NP). Global protein identification was performed with high‐throughput proteomic approaches and label‐free analysis determined their relative abundances. Proteins were identified by Proteome Discoverer v2.4 and searched against human SwissProt protein databases. Enrichment bioinformatic analyses were performed in STRING‐DB and ShinyGO environment.


1504 and 1500 proteins were identified in NP and PG respectively. Forty‐eight proteins were exclusively identified in PG, while 52 were identified in NP. Moreover, 35 proteins were more abundant in PG and 29 proteins in NP (twofold change, p < .05). The NP group was mainly represented by proteins from “response to biotic stimuli and other organisms,” “processes of cell death regulation,” “peptidase regulation,” “protein ubiquitination,” and “ribosomal activity” GO categories. The most represented GO categories of the PG group were “assembly of multiprotein complexes,” “catabolic processes,” “lipid metabolism,” and “binding to hemoglobin and haptoglobin.”


There are quantitative and qualitative differences in the proteome of GCF from periodontal sites according to the status of clinical progression of periodontitis. Progressive periodontitis sites are characterized by a protein profile associated with catabolic processes, immune response, and response to cellular stress, while stable periodontitis sites show a protein profile mainly related to wound repair and healing processes, cell death regulation, and chaperone‐mediated autophagy. Understanding the etiopathogenic role of these profiles in progressive periodontitis may help to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

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