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Open Access Commentary

Peroxiredoxin 4: a multifunctional biomarker worthy of further exploration

Janin Schulte

Author affiliations

Department of Research and Development, BRAHMS GmbH, Part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, 16761 Hennigsdorf, Germany

Citation and License

BMC Medicine 2011, 9:137  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-9-137

Published: 23 December 2011

Abstract

Currently, there is much interest in identifying clinically relevant biomarkers, as they have the potential to be high utility non-invasive tools for early diagnosis and reliable patient monitoring in numerous conditions. Since its discovery almost 15 years ago, research on the ubiquitous antioxidant enzyme peroxiredoxin 4 (Prx4) has culminated in the recognition that Prx4 levels are different in blood drawn from the healthy general population and patients with acute or chronic diseases. In this commentary, the most striking research data from different in vitro approaches, animal models and human observational studies are discussed collectively, highlighting the clinical importance of Prx4 as a multifunctional staging and prognosis biomarker. In this context, the oxidative state of patients may be reflected by intra- and extracellular Prx4 levels, redox state, oligomerization and nitro-oxidative modifications of the enzyme. A consolidated model of the potential role and origin of circulating Prx4 is presented to stimulate further investigations in light of the current biomarker situation.