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Elucidating the Mechanisms of Sodium Benzoate in Alzheimer's Disease: Insights from Quantitative Proteomics Analysis of Serum Samples.

BACKGROUND: N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) are crucial components of brain function involved in memory and neurotransmission. Sodium benzoate is a promising NMDAR enhancer and has been proven to be a novel, safe and efficient therapy for patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, in addition to the role of sodium benzoate as an NMDA enhancer, other mechanisms of sodium benzoate in treating AD are still unclear. To elucidate the potential mechanisms of sodium benzoate in Alzheimer's disease, this study employed label-free quantitative proteomics to analyze serum samples from AD cohorts with and without sodium benzoate treatment.

METHODS: The serum proteins from each patient were separated into 24 fractions using an immobilized pH gradient, digested with trypsin and then subjected to nanoLC‒MS/MS to analyze the proteome of all patients. The nanoLC‒MS/MS data were obtained with a label-free quantitative proteomic approach. Proteins with fold changes were analyzed with STRING and Cytoscape to find key protein networks/processes and hub proteins.

RESULTS: Our analysis identified 861 and 927 protein groups in the benzoate-treatment cohort and the placebo cohort, respectively. The results demonstrated that sodium benzoate had the most significant effect on the complement and coagulation cascade pathways, amyloidosis disease, immune responses and lipid metabolic processes. Moreover, Transthyretin (TTR), Fibrinogen alpha chain (FGA), Haptoglobin (HP), Apolipoprotein B-100 (APOB), Fibrinogen beta chain (FGB), Apolipoprotein E (APOE) and Alpha-1-acid glycoprotein 1 (ORM1) were identified as hub proteins in the protein‒protein interaction networks.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that sodium benzoate may exert its influence on important pathways associated with AD, thus contributing to the improvement in the pathogenesis of the disease.

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