Serum Markers of Liver Fibrosis: Combining the BIPED Classification and the Neo-Epitope Approach in the Development of New Biomarkers
Background: Fibrosis is a central histological feature of chronic liver diseases and is characterized by the accumulation and reorganization of the extracellular matrix. The gold standard for assessment of fibrosis is histological evaluation of a percutaneous liver biopsy. Albeit a considerable effort have been invested in finding alternative non-invasive approaches, these have not been sufficiently succesfull to replace biopsy assessment.Aim: To identify the extracellular matrix proteins of interest, that as protein degradation fragments produced during extracellular matrix metabolism neo-epitopes, may be targeted for novel biochemical marker development in fibrosis. We used the recently proposed BIPED system (Burden of disease, Investigative, Prognostic, Efficacy and Diagnostic) to characterise present serological markers.Methods: Pubmed was search for keywords; Liver fibrosis, neo-epitopes, biomarkers, clinical trail, extra cellular matrix, protease, degradation, fragment.Results and Conclusion: Implementation of BIPED categorization in the development and validation of fibrosis biomarkers to simplify and standardize the use of existing and future biomarkers seems advantageous. In addition, a systematic use of the neo-epitope approach, i.e. the quantification of peptide epitopes generated from enzymatic cleavage of proteins during extracellular remodeling, may prove productive in the quest to find new markers of liver fibrosis.