Objective: The healing of wounds is critical in protecting the human body against environmental factors. The mechanisms involving protein expression during this complex physiological process have not been fully elucidated. Approach: Here, we use reverse-phase protein microarrays (RPPA) involving 94 phosphoproteins to study tissue samples from tubes implanted in healing dermal wounds in seven human subjects tracked over two weeks. We compare the proteomic profiles to proteomes of controls obtained from skin biopsies from the same subjects. Main results: Compared to previous proteomic studies of wound healing, our approach focuses on wound tissue instead of wound fluid, and has the sensitivity to go beyond measuring only highly abundant proteins. To study the temporal dynamics of networks involved in wound healing, we applied two network analysis methods that integrate the experimental results with prior knowledge about protein-protein physical and regulatory interactions, as well as higher-level biological processes and associated pathways. Significance: We uncovered densely connected networks of proteins that are up- or down-regulated during human wound healing, as well as their relationships to microRNAs and to proteins outside of our set of targets that we measured with proteomic microarrays.
- network physiology
- protein-protein interaction networks
- systems biology
- wound healing