Clin Chim Acta. 2008 Dec 30. [Epub ahead of print]


Secondary structural changes of proteins in fingernails of chronic fatigue syndrome patients from Fourier-transform infrared spectra.


Sakudo A, Kuratsune H, Kato YH, Ikuta K. Department of Virology, Center for Infectious Disease Control, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.



BACKGROUND: Generally, nails can be an index of health, with abnormalities sometimes found under diseased conditions. Fatigue is also supposed to affect the condition of nails. Possible differences in infrared (IR) spectra of nail plates of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients compared to healthy control subjects were investigated in this study.


METHODS: Using an attenuated total reflection (ATR)-Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectrophotometer, spectra in the region of 4000-600/cm were obtained. The amide I region was then separated by Fourier deconvolution and curve fitting based on the Gauss and Lorentz formula and revealed differences in the secondary structural content of proteins compared to healthy donors.


RESULTS: The specific secondary structural pattern commonly observed in nails of male and female CFS patients in the absence and presence of medication indicated a decreased alpha-helix content and increased beta-sheet content, suggesting reduced levels of normal elements of the nail plate.


CONCLUSIONS: This provides the first evidence of alterations in the fingernails of CFS patients which could be detected by IR spectroscopy. Possible explanations for the alterations will be discussed.


PMID: 19150612 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]




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