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Human neuroglobin protein in cerebrospinal fluid

Begona Casado14*, Lewis K Pannell2, Gail Whalen1, Daniel J Clauw3 and James N Baraniuk1

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Rheumatology, Immunology & Allergy, Georgetown University, Washington DC 20007-2197, USA

2 Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-0508, USA

3 Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109, MI, USA

4 Dipartimento di Biochimica A. Castellani, Universita di Pavia, Pavia 27100, Italy

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Proteome Science 2005, 3:2  doi:10.1186/1477-5956-3-2

Published: 25 February 2005



Neuroglobin is a hexacoordinated member of the globin family of proteins. It is predominantly localized to various brain regions and retina where it may play a role in protection against ischemia and nitric oxide-induced neural injury. Cerebrospinal fluid was collected from 12 chronic regional or systemic pain and 5 control subjects. Proteins were precipitated by addition of 50% 0.2 N acetic acid, 50% ethanol, 0.02% sodium bisulfite. The pellet was extensively digested with trypsin. Peptides were separated by capillary liquid chromatography using a gradient from 95% water to 95% acetonitrile in 0.2% formic acid, and eluted through a nanoelectrospray ionization interface into a quadrapole – time-of-flight dual mass spectrometer (QToF2, Waters, Milford, MA). Peptides were sequenced (PepSeq, MassLynx v3.5) and proteins identified using MASCOT ®.


Six different neuroglobin peptides were identified in various combinations in 3 of 9 female pain subjects, but none in male pain, or female or male control subjects.


This is the first description of neuroglobin in cerebrospinal fluid. The mechanism(s) leading to its release in chronic pain states remain to be defined.