Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder characterized by food antigen–driven eosinophilic inflammation and hyperproliferation of esophageal mucosa. By utilizing a large-scale, proteomic screen of esophageal biopsies, we aimed to uncover molecular drivers of the disease. Proteomic analysis by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry identified 402 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) that correlated with the EoE transcriptome. Immune cell–related proteins were among the most highly upregulated DEPs in EoE compared with controls, whereas proteins linked to epithelial differentiation were primarily downregulated. Notably, in the inflamed esophageal tissue, all 6 subunits of the minichromosome maintenance (MCM) complex, a DNA helicase essential for genomic DNA replication, were significantly upregulated at the gene and protein levels. Furthermore, treating esophageal epithelial cells with a known inhibitor of the MCM complex (ciprofloxacin) blocked esophageal epithelial proliferation. In a murine model of EoE driven by overexpression of IL-13, ciprofloxacin treatment decreased basal zone thickness and reduced dilated intercellular spaces by blocking the transition of epithelial cells through the S-phase of the cell cycle. Collectively, a broad-spectrum proteomic screen has identified the involvement of the MCM complex in EoE and has highlighted MCM inhibitors as potential therapeutic agents for the disease.
Mark Rochman, Yrina Rochman, Julie M. Caldwell, Lydia E. Mack, John A. Besse, Nathan P. Manes, Sung Hwan Yoon, Tetsuo Shoda, Aleksandra Nita-Lazar, Marc E. Rothenberg