Background: The nasal fibroblast secretome, which includes various cytokines,
chemokines, and growth factors, promotes cell migration. Currently, the proteomics of Airway Fibroblast
(AF) Conditioned Medium (AFCM) are being actively studied.
Objective: This study was aimed at profiling and identifying the AF secreted proteins that can enhance
wound healing of the airway epithelium and predict the potential pathway involved.
Methods: Airway Epithelial Cells (AECs) and AFs were isolated from redundant human nasal
turbinate and cultured. AFCM was collected by culturing the AFs either with serum-free airway
epithelium basal medium (AECM) or with serum-free F12:DMEM (FDCM). For evaluating cell
migration, the AECs were supplemented with airway epithelium medium and defined keratinocyte
medium (1:1; AEDK; control), or with AEDK supplemented with 20% AECM or 20% FDCM.
The mass spectrometry sample was prepared by protein precipitation, followed by gel electrophoresis
and in-gel digestion.
Results: AECM promoted better cell migration compared to the FDCM and the control medium.
Bioinformatics analysis identified a total of 121, and 92 proteins from AECM and FDCM, respectively:
109 and 82 were identified as secreted proteins, respectively. STRING® analysis predicted
that 23 proteins from the AECM and 16 proteins from the FDCM are involved in wound healing.
Conclusion: Conditioned medium promotes wound healing by enhancing cell migration, and we
successfully identified various secretory proteins in a conditioned medium that play important
roles in wound healing.