Maternal serum serpin B7 is associated with early spontaneous preterm birth

Samuel Parry, Heping Zhang, Joseph Biggio, Radek Bukowski, Michael Varner, Yaji Xu, William W. Andrews, George R. Saade, M. Sean Esplin, Rita Leite, John Ilekis, Uma M. Reddy, Yoel Sadovsky, Ian A. Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: We sought to identify serum biomarkers of early spontaneous preterm birth (SPTB) using semiquantitative proteomic analyses. STUDY DESIGN: This was a nested case-control study of pregnant women with previous SPTB. Maternal serum was collected at 19-24 and 28-32 weeks' gestation, and analyzed by liquid chromatography-multiple reaction monitoring/mass spectrometry. Targeted and shotgun proteomics identified 31 candidate proteins that were differentially expressed in pooled serum samples from spontaneous preterm (cases [<34 weeks]) and term (controls) deliveries. Candidate protein expression was compared in individual serum samples between cases and controls matched by age and race groups, and clinical site. Protein expression was verified by Western blot in the placenta and fetal membranes from cases and controls. RESULTS: Serum samples were available for 35 cases and 35 controls at 19-24 weeks, and 16 cases and 16 controls at 28-32 weeks. One protein, serpin B7, yielded serum concentrations that differed between cases and controls. The mean concentration of serpin B7 at 28-32 weeks was 1.5-fold higher in women with subsequent preterm deliveries compared to controls; there was no difference at 19-24 weeks. Higher levels of serpin B7 at both gestational age windows were associated with a shorter interval to delivery, and higher levels of serpin B7 in samples from 28-32 weeks were associated with a lower gestational age at delivery. Western blotting identified serpin B7 protein in placenta, amnion, and chorion from cases and controls. CONCLUSION: Targeted and shotgun serum proteomics analyses associated 1 protein, serpin B7, with early SPTB. Our results require validation in other cohorts and analysis of the possible mechanistic role of serpin B7 in parturition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)678.e1-678.e12
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • preterm birth
  • proteomics
  • serine proteinase inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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