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1.  A propofol binding site on mammalian GABAA receptors identified by photolabeling 
Nature chemical biology  2013;9(11):715-720.
Propofol is the most important intravenous general anesthetic in current clinical use. It acts by potentiating GABAA receptors, but where it binds to this receptor is not known and has been a matter of some controversy. We have synthesized a novel propofol analogue photolabeling reagent that has a biological activity very similar to that of propofol. We confirmed that this reagent labeled known propofol binding sites in human serum albumin which have been identified using X-ray crystallography. Using a combination of the protiated label and a deuterated version, and mammalian receptors labeled in intact membranes, we have identified a novel binding site for propofol in GABAA receptors consisting of both β3 homopentamers and α1β3 heteropentamers. The binding site is located within the β subunit, at the interface between the transmembrane domains and the extracellular domain, and lies close to known determinants of anesthetic sensitivity in transmembrane segments TM1 and TM2.
PMCID: PMC3951778  PMID: 24056400
2.  Comparative Proteomic Analysis Identifies Age-Dependent Increases in the Abundance of Specific Proteins after Deletion of the Small Heat Shock Proteins αA- and αB-Crystallin 
Biochemistry  2013;52(17):2933-2948.
Mice with deletion of genes for small heat shock proteins αA- and αB-crystallin (αA/αB−/−) develop cataracts. We used proteomic analysis to identify lens proteins that change in abundance after deletion of these α-crystallin genes. Wild-type (WT) and αA/αB−/− knockout (DKO) mice were compared using two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometric analysis, and protein identifications were validated by Mascot proteomic software. The abundance of histones H2A, H4, and H2B fragment, and a low molecular weight β1-catenin increased 2- to 3-fold in postnatal day 2 lenses of DKO lenses compared with WT lenses. Additional major increases were observed in abundance of βB2-crystallin and vimentin in 30-day-old lenses of DKO animals compared with WT animals. Lenses of DKO mice were comprised of 9 protein spots containing βB2-crystallin at 10- to 40-fold higher abundance and 3 protein spots containing vimentin at ≥ 2-fold higher abundance than in WT lenses. Gel permeation chromatography identified a unique 328 kDa protein in DKO lenses, containing β-crystallin, demonstrating aggregation of β-crystallin in the absence of α-crystallins. Together, these changes provide biochemical evidence for possible functions of specific cell adhesion proteins, cytoskeletal proteins, and crystallins in lens opacities caused by the absence of the major chaperones, αA- and αB-crystallins.
PMCID: PMC3690595  PMID: 23590631
Crystallin; knockout; proteomics; substrate; alpha-crystallin; chaperone
3.  In Vivo Substrates of the Lens Molecular Chaperones αA-Crystallin and αB-Crystallin 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95507.
αA-crystallin and αB-crystallin are members of the small heat shock protein family and function as molecular chaperones and major lens structural proteins. Although numerous studies have examined their chaperone-like activities in vitro, little is known about the proteins they protect in vivo. To elucidate the relationships between chaperone function, substrate binding, and human cataract formation, we used proteomic and mass spectrometric methods to analyze the effect of mutations associated with hereditary human cataract formation on protein abundance in αA-R49C and αB-R120G knock-in mutant lenses. Compared with age-matched wild type lenses, 2-day-old αA-R49C heterozygous lenses demonstrated the following: increased crosslinking (15-fold) and degradation (2.6-fold) of αA-crystallin; increased association between αA-crystallin and filensin, actin, or creatine kinase B; increased acidification of βB1-crystallin; increased levels of grifin; and an association between βA3/A1-crystallin and αA-crystallin. Homozygous αA-R49C mutant lenses exhibited increased associations between αA-crystallin and βB3-, βA4-, βA2-crystallins, and grifin, whereas levels of βB1-crystallin, gelsolin, and calpain 3 decreased. The amount of degraded glutamate dehydrogenase, α-enolase, and cytochrome c increased more than 50-fold in homozygous αA-R49C mutant lenses. In αB-R120G mouse lenses, our analyses identified decreased abundance of phosphoglycerate mutase, several β- and γ-crystallins, and degradation of αA- and αB-crystallin early in cataract development. Changes in the abundance of hemoglobin and histones with the loss of normal α-crystallin chaperone function suggest that these proteins also play important roles in the biochemical mechanisms of hereditary cataracts. Together, these studies offer a novel insight into the putative in vivo substrates of αA- and αB-crystallin.
PMCID: PMC3997384  PMID: 24760011
Biochemistry  2011;50(12):2170-2186.
Arabidopsis CRINKLY4 (ACR4) is a receptor-like kinase (RLK) that consists of an extracellular domain and an intracellular domain (ICD) with serine/threonine kinase activity. While genetic and cell biology experiments have demonstrated that ACR4 is important in cell fate specification and overall development of the plant, little is known about the biochemical properties of the kinase domain and the mechanisms that underlie the overall function of the receptor. To complement in planta studies on the function of ACR4, we have expressed the ICD in Escherichia coli as a soluble C-terminal fusion to the N-utilization substance A (NusA) protein, purified the recombinant protein and characterized the enzymatic and conformational properties. The protein autophosphorylates via an intramolecular mechanism, prefers Mn2+ over Mg2+ as the divalent cation and displays typical Michaelis-Menten kinetics with respect to ATP with an apparent Km of 6.67 ± 2.07 μM and Vmax of 1.83 ± 0.18 nmol/min/mg. Autophosphorylation is accompanied by a conformational change as demonstrated by circular dichroism, fluorescence spectroscopy and limited proteolysis with trypsin. Analysis by nano-liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (nano-LC-MS) revealed 16 confirmed sites of phosphorylation at Ser and Thr residues. Sedimentation velocity and gel-filtration experiments indicate that the ICD has a propensity to oligomerize and that this property is lost upon autophosphorylation.
PMCID: PMC3947565  PMID: 21294549
5.  Quantitative Label-Free Proteomics for Discovery of Biomarkers in Cerebrospinal Fluid: Assessment of Technical and Inter-Individual Variation 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64314.
Biomarkers are required for pre-symptomatic diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a favored source because its proteome reflects the composition of the brain. Ideal biomarkers have low technical and inter-individual variability (subject variance) among control subjects to minimize overlaps between clinical groups. This study evaluates a process of multi-affinity fractionation (MAF) and quantitative label-free liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) for CSF biomarker discovery by (1) identifying reparable sources of technical variability, (2) assessing subject variance and residual technical variability for numerous CSF proteins, and (3) testing its ability to segregate samples on the basis of desired biomarker characteristics.
Fourteen aliquots of pooled CSF and two aliquots from six cognitively normal individuals were randomized, enriched for low-abundance proteins by MAF, digested endoproteolytically, randomized again, and analyzed by nano-LC-MS. Nano-LC-MS data were time and m/z aligned across samples for relative peptide quantification. Among 11,433 aligned charge groups, 1360 relatively abundant ones were annotated by MS2, yielding 823 unique peptides. Analyses, including Pearson correlations of annotated LC-MS ion chromatograms, performed for all pairwise sample comparisons, identified several sources of technical variability: i) incomplete MAF and keratins; ii) globally- or segmentally-decreased ion current in isolated LC-MS analyses; and iii) oxidized methionine-containing peptides. Exclusion of these sources yielded 609 peptides representing 81 proteins. Most of these proteins showed very low coefficients of variation (CV<5%) whether they were quantified from the mean of all or only the 2 most-abundant peptides. Unsupervised clustering, using only 24 proteins selected for high subject variance, yielded perfect segregation of pooled and individual samples.
Quantitative label-free LC-MS/MS can measure scores of CSF proteins with low technical variability and can segregate samples according to desired criteria. Thus, this technique shows potential for biomarker discovery for neurological diseases.
PMCID: PMC3659127  PMID: 23700471
6.  Targeted Peptide Measurements in Biology and Medicine: Best Practices for Mass Spectrometry-based Assay Development Using a Fit-for-Purpose Approach* 
Adoption of targeted mass spectrometry (MS) approaches such as multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) to study biological and biomedical questions is well underway in the proteomics community. Successful application depends on the ability to generate reliable assays that uniquely and confidently identify target peptides in a sample. Unfortunately, there is a wide range of criteria being applied to say that an assay has been successfully developed. There is no consensus on what criteria are acceptable and little understanding of the impact of variable criteria on the quality of the results generated. Publications describing targeted MS assays for peptides frequently do not contain sufficient information for readers to establish confidence that the tests work as intended or to be able to apply the tests described in their own labs. Guidance must be developed so that targeted MS assays with established performance can be made widely distributed and applied by many labs worldwide. To begin to address the problems and their solutions, a workshop was held at the National Institutes of Health with representatives from the multiple communities developing and employing targeted MS assays. Participants discussed the analytical goals of their experiments and the experimental evidence needed to establish that the assays they develop work as intended and are achieving the required levels of performance. Using this “fit-for-purpose” approach, the group defined three tiers of assays distinguished by their performance and extent of analytical characterization. Computational and statistical tools useful for the analysis of targeted MS results were described. Participants also detailed the information that authors need to provide in their manuscripts to enable reviewers and readers to clearly understand what procedures were performed and to evaluate the reliability of the peptide or protein quantification measurements reported. This paper presents a summary of the meeting and recommendations.
PMCID: PMC3945918  PMID: 24443746
Journal of proteome research  2012;11(12):5994-6007.
Cardiac voltage-gated Na+ (Nav) channels are key determinants of action potential waveforms, refractoriness and propagation, and Nav1.5 is the main Nav pore-forming (α) subunit in the mammalian heart. Although direct phosphorylation of the Nav1.5 protein has been suggested to modulate various aspects of Nav channel physiology and pathophysiology, native Nav1.5 phosphorylation sites have not been identified. In the experiments here, a mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomic approach was developed to identify native Nav1.5 phosphorylation sites directly. Using an anti-NavPAN antibody, Nav channel complexes were immunoprecipitated from adult mouse cardiac ventricles. The MS analyses revealed that this antibody immunoprecipitates several Nav α subunits in addition to Nav1.5, as well as several previously identified Nav channel associated/regulatory proteins. Label-free comparative and data-driven phosphoproteomic analyses of purified cardiac Nav1.5 protein identified 11 phosphorylation sites, 8 of which are novel. All the phosphorylation sites identified except one in the N-terminus are in the first intracellular linker loop, suggesting critical roles for this region in phosphorylation-dependent cardiac Nav channel regulation. Interestingly, commonly used prediction algorithms did not reliably predict these newly identified in situ phosphorylation sites. Taken together, the results presented provide the first in situ map of basal phosphorylation sites on the mouse cardiac Nav1.5 α subunit.
PMCID: PMC3518584  PMID: 23092124
Nav1.5 Channels; Heart; Native Phosphorylations; Mass Spectrometric Identifications; Label-free Comparative and Data-driven LC-MS/MS Analyses
8.  Identification of Potential Mediators of Retinotopic Mapping: A Comparative Proteomic Analysis of Optic Nerve from WT and Phr1 Retinal Knockout Mice 
Journal of proteome research  2012;11(11):5515-5526.
Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) transmit visual information topographically from the eye to the brain, creating a map of visual space in retino-recipient nuclei (retinotopy). This process is affected by retinal activity and by activity-independent molecular cues. Phr1, which encodes a presumed E3 ubiquitin ligase (PHR1), is required presynaptically for proper placement of RGC axons in the lateral geniculate nucleus and the superior colliculus, suggesting that increased levels of PHR1 target proteins may be instructive for retinotopic mapping of retinofugal projections. To identify potential target proteins, we conducted a proteomic analysis of optic nerve to identify differentially abundant proteins in the presence or absence of Phr1 in RGCs. 1D gel electrophoresis identified a specific band in controls that was absent in mutants. Targeted proteomic analysis of this band demonstrated the presence of PHR1. Additionally, we conducted an unbiased proteomic analysis that identified 30 proteins as being significantly different between the two genotypes. One of these, heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein M (hnRNP-M), regulates antero-posterior patterning in invertebrates and can function as a cell surface adhesion receptor in vertebrates. Thus we have demonstrated that network analysis of quantitative proteomic data is a useful approach for hypothesis generation and for identifying biologically relevant targets in genetically altered biological models.
PMCID: PMC3510777  PMID: 22985349
Phr1; Mycbp2; retinal ganglion cell; proteomics; hnRNP-M; retinotopy; ubiquitin ligase; label-free quantitative proteomics; LC-MS; network analysis
9.  Single Point Mutations Result in the Miss-Sorting of Glut4 to a Novel Membrane Compartment Associated with Stress Granule Proteins 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68516.
Insulin increases cellular glucose uptake and metabolism in the postprandial state by acutely stimulating the translocation of the Glut4 glucose transporter from intracellular membrane compartments to the cell surface in muscle and fat cells. The intracellular targeting of Glut4 is dictated by specific structural motifs within cytoplasmic domains of the transporter. We demonstrate that two leucine residues at the extreme C-terminus of Glut4 are critical components of a motif (IRM, insulin responsive motif) involved in the sorting of the transporter to insulin responsive vesicles in 3T3L1 adipocytes. Light microscopy, immunogold electron microscopy, subcellular fractionation, and sedimentation analysis indicate that mutations in the IRM cause the aberrant targeting of Glut4 to large dispersed membrane vesicles that are not insulin responsive. Proteomic characterization of rapidly and slowly sedimenting membrane vesicles (RSVs and SSVs) that were highly enriched by immunoadsorption for either wild-type Glut4 or an IRM mutant revealed that the major vesicle fraction containing the mutant transporter (IRM-RSVs) possessed a relatively small and highly distinct protein population that was enriched for proteins associated with stress granules. We suggest that the IRM is critical for an early step in the sorting of Glut4 to insulin-responsive subcellular membrane compartments and that IRM mutants are miss-targeted to relatively large, amorphous membrane vesicles that may be involved in a degradation pathway for miss-targeted or miss-folded proteins or represent a transitional membrane compartment that Glut4 traverses en route to insulin responsive storage compartments.
PMCID: PMC3713040  PMID: 23874650
10.  A neurosteroid analogue photolabeling reagent labels the colchicine binding site on tubulin: A mass spectrometric analysis 
Electrophoresis  2012;33(4):666-674.
Previous studies have shown that the neurosteroid analogue, 6-Azi-pregnanolone (6-AziP), photolabels voltage-dependent anion channels and proteins of approximately 55 kDa in rat brain membranes. The present study used two dimensional electrophoresis and nano-electrospray ionization ion trap mass spectrometry (nano-ESI-MS) to identify the 55 kDa proteins (pI 4.8) as isoforms of β-tubulin. This identification was confirmed by immuno-blot and immunoprecipitation of photolabeled protein with anti-β-tubulin antibody and by the demonstration that 6-AziP photolabels purified bovine brain tubulin in a concentration-dependent pattern. To identify the photolabeling sites, purified bovine brain tubulin was photolabeled with 6-AziP, digested with trypsin, and analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI). A 6-AziP adduct of TAVCDIPPR (m/z=1287.77), a β-tubulin specific peptide, was detected by MALDI. High resolution LC-MS/MS analysis identified that 6-AziP was covalently bound to cysteine 354 (Cys-354), previously identified as a colchicine binding site. 6-AziP photolabeling was inhibited by 2-methoxyestradiol, an endogenous derivative of estradiol thought to bind to the colchicine site. Structural modeling predicted that neurosteroids could dock in this colchicine site at the interface between α- and β-tubulin with the photolabeling group of 6-AziP positioned proximate to Cys-354.
PMCID: PMC3690291  PMID: 22451060
tubulin; mass spectrometry; photolabeling; neurosteroids
11.  Residual Cx45 and its relationship to Cx43 in Murine ventricular myocardium 
Channels  2011;5(6):489-499.
Gap junction channels in ventricular myocardium are required for electrical and metabolic coupling between cardiac myocytes and for normal cardiac pump function. Although much is known about expression patterns and remodeling of cardiac connexin (Cx)43, little is known about the less abundant Cx45, which is required for embryonic development and viability, is downregulated in adult hearts, and is pathophysiologically upregulated in human end-stage heart failure. We applied quantitative immunoblotting and immunoprecipitation to native myocardial extracts, immunogold electron microscopy to cardiac tissue and membrane sections, electrophysiological recordings to whole hearts, and high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry to Cx45 fusion protein, and developed two new tools, anti-Cx45 antisera and Cre+;Cx45 floxed mice, to facilitate characterization of Cx45 in adult mammalian hearts.
We found that Cx45 represents 0.3% of total Cx protein (predominantly 200 fmol Cx43 protein/µg ventricular protein) and colocalizes with Cx43 in native ventricular gap junctions, particularly in the apex and septum. Cre+;Cx45 floxed mice express 85% less Cx45, but do not exhibit overt electrophysiologic abnormalities. Although the basal phosphorylation status of native Cx45 remains unknown, CaMKII phosphorylates eight Ser/Thr residues in Cx45 in vitro.
Thus, although downregulation of Cx45 does not produce notable deficits in electrical conduction in adult, disease-free hearts, Cx45 is a target of the multifunctional kinase CaMKII, and the phosphorylation status of Cx45 and the role of Cx43/Cx45 heteromeric gap junction channels in both normal and diseased hearts merits further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3265797  PMID: 22127232
connexin45; gap junctions; quantitative immunoblots; co-immunoprecipitation; electron microscopy; Cx45 phosphorylation; CaMKII; transgenic mice
12.  RNA helicase DDX5 is a p53-independent target of ARF that participates in ribosome biogenesis 
Cancer research  2011;71(21):6708-6717.
The p19ARF tumor suppressor limits ribosome biogenesis and responds to hyperproliferative signals to activate the p53 checkpoint response. While its activation of p53 has been well characterized, ARF’s role in restraining nucleolar ribosome production is poorly understood. Here we report the use of a mass spectroscopic analysis to identify protein changes within the nucleoli of Arf-deficient mouse cells. Through this approach, we discovered that ARF limited the nucleolar localization of the RNA helicase DDX5 which promotes the synthesis and maturation of rRNA, ultimately increasing ribosome output and proliferation. ARF inhibited the interaction between DDX5 and nucleophosmin (NPM), preventing association of DDX5 with the rDNA promoter and nuclear pre-ribosomes. In addition, Arf-deficient cells transformed by oncogenic RasV12 were addicted to DDX5, since reduction of DDX5 was sufficient to impair RasV12-driven colony formation in soft agar and tumor growth in mice. Taken together, our findings indicate that DDX5 is a key p53-independent target of the ARF tumor suppressor and is a novel non-oncogene participant in ribosome biogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3206203  PMID: 21937682
ARF; DDX5; NPM; non-oncogene; ribosome biogenesis
13.  The Sodium Channel Accessory Subunit Navβ1 Regulates Neuronal Excitability through Modulation of Repolarizing Voltage-Gated K+ Channels 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2012;32(17):5716-5727.
The channel pore-forming α subunit Kv4.2 is a major constituent of A-type (IA) potassium currents and a key regulator of neuronal membrane excitability. Multiple mechanisms regulate the properties, subcellular targeting and cell surface expression of Kv4.2-encoded channels. In the present study, shotgun proteomic analyses of immunoprecipitated mouse brain Kv4.2 channel complexes unexpectedly identified the voltage-gated Na+ channel accessory subunit Navβ1. Voltage-clamp and current-clamp recordings revealed that knockdown of Navβ1 decreases IA densities in isolated cortical neurons and that action potential waveforms are prolonged and repetitive firing is increased in Scn1b null cortical pyramidal neurons lacking Navβ1. Biochemical and voltage-clamp experiments further demonstrated that Navβ1 interacts with and increases the stability of heterologously expressed Kv4.2 protein, resulting in greater total and cell surface Kv4.2 protein expression and in larger Kv4.2-encoded current densities. Taken together, the results presented here identify Navβ1 as a component of native neuronal Kv4.2-encoded IA channel complexes and a novel regulator of IA channel densities and neuronal excitability.
PMCID: PMC3347704  PMID: 22539834
14.  The role of molecular chaperonins in warm ischemia and reperfusion injury in the steatotic liver: A proteomic study 
BMC Biochemistry  2012;13:17.
The molecular basis of the increased susceptibility of steatotic livers to warm ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury during transplantation remains undefined. Animal model for warm I/R injury was induced in obese Zucker rats. Lean Zucker rats provided controls. Two dimensional differential gel electrophoresis was performed with liver protein extracts. Protein features with significant abundance ratios (p < 0.01) between the two cohorts were selected and analyzed with HPLC/MS. Proteins were identified by Uniprot database. Interactive protein networks were generated using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis and GRANITE software.
The relative abundance of 105 proteins was observed in warm I/R injury. Functional grouping revealed four categories of importance: molecular chaperones/endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, oxidative stress, metabolism, and cell structure. Hypoxia up-regulated 1, calcium binding protein 1, calreticulin, heat shock protein (HSP) 60, HSP-90, and protein disulfide isomerase 3 were chaperonins significantly (p < 0.01) down-regulated and only one chaperonin, HSP-1was significantly upregulated in steatotic liver following I/R.
Down-regulation of the chaperones identified in this analysis may contribute to the increased ER stress and, consequently, apoptosis and necrosis. This study provides an initial platform for future investigation of the role of chaperones and therapeutic targets for increasing the viability of steatotic liver allografts.
PMCID: PMC3445822  PMID: 22962947
Ischemia repurfusion injury; Two dimensional gel electrophoresis; Mass spectrometry; Liver transplantation; Chaperonins; Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress
15.  Proteomic Analysis Highlights the Molecular Complexities of Native Kv4 Channel Macromolecular Complexes 
Voltage-gated K+ (Kv) channels are key determinants of membrane excitability in the nervous and cardiovascular systems, functioning to control resting membrane potentials, shape action potential waveforms and influence the responses to neurotransmitters and neurohormones. Consistent with this functional diversity, multiple types of Kv currents, with distinct biophysical properties and cellular/subcellular distributions, have been identified. Rapidly activating and inactivating Kv currents, typically referred to as IA (A-type) in neurons, for example, regulate repetitive firing rates, action potential back-propagation (into dendrites) and modulate synaptic responses. Currents with similar properties, referred to as Ito,f (fast transient outward), expressed in cardiomyocytes, control the early phase of myocardial action potential repolarization. A number of studies have demonstrated critical roles for pore-forming (α) subunits of the Kv4 subfamily in the generation of native neuronal IA and cardiac Ito,f channels. Studies in heterologous cells have also suggested important roles for a number of Kv channel accessory and regulatory proteins in the generation of functional IA and Ito,f channels. Quantitative mass spectrometry-based proteomic analysis is increasingly recognized as a rapid and, importantly, unbiased, approach to identify the components of native macromolecular protein complexes. The recent application of proteomic approaches to identify the components of native neuronal (and cardiac) Kv4 channel complexes has revealed even greater complexity than anticipated. The continued emphasis on development of improved biochemical and analytical proteomics methods seems certain to accelerate progress and to provide important new insights into the molecular determinants of native ion channel protein complexes.
PMCID: PMC3046235  PMID: 20959143
Proteomics; Protein identification; Native ion channel protein complexes; Kv4 α subunits; Kv accessory subunits; Post-translational modifications; Quantitative mass spectrometry
16.  Inhibition of Lens Photodamage by UV-Absorbing Contact Lenses 
Using a proteomics approach, the authors examined whether class 1 UV-blocking contact lenses protect against UVB radiation–induced damage in a human lens epithelial cell line (HLE B-3) and postmortem human lenses.
To determine whether class 1 UV-blocking contact lenses protect against UVB radiation–induced damage in a human lens epithelial cell line (HLE B-3) and postmortem human lenses using a proteomics approach.
HLE B-3 cells were exposed to 6.4 mW/cm2 UVB radiation at 302 nm for 2 minutes (768 mJ/cm2) with or without covering by senofilcon A class 1 UV-blocking contact lenses or lotrafilcon A non–UV-blocking (lotrafilcon A has some UV-blocking ability, albeit minimal) contact lenses. Control cells were not exposed to UVB radiation. Four hours after treatment, cells were analyzed by two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis and tandem mass spectrometry, and changes in protein abundance were quantified. F-actin and microtubule cytoskeletons were examined by fluorescence staining. In addition, human donor lenses were exposed to UVB radiation at 302 nm for 4 minutes (1536 mJ/cm2). Cortical and epithelial cell proteins were scraped from lens surfaces and subjected to the same protein analyses.
Senofilcon A lenses were beneficial for protecting HLE B-3 cells against UVB radiation–induced changes in caldesmon 1 isoform, lamin A/C transcript variant 1, DEAD (Asp-Glu-Ala-Asp) box polypeptide, β-actin, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (G3PDH), annexin A2, triose phosphate isomerase, and ubiquitin B precursor. These contact lenses also prevented actin and microtubule cytoskeleton changes typically induced by UVB radiation. Conversely, non–UV-blocking contact lenses were not protective. UVB-irradiated human lenses showed marked reductions in αA-crystallin, αB-crystallin, aldehyde dehydrogenase 1, βS-crystallin, βB2-crystallin, and G3PDH, and UV-absorbing contact lenses significantly prevented these alterations.
Senofilcon A class 1 UV-blocking contact lenses largely prevented UVB-induced changes in protein abundance in lens epithelial cells and in human lenses.
PMCID: PMC3208141  PMID: 21873653
17.  Identification of CaMKII Phosphorylation Sites in Connexin43 by High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry 
Journal of proteome research  2011;10(3):1098-1109.
Connexin43 (Cx43) is a major cardiac gap junction channel protein required for normal electrical and contractile activity. Gap junction channel assembly, function and turnover are regulated by phosphorylation under both normal and disease conditions. The carboxyl terminus (CT) of Cx43 contains numerous amino acid residues that are phosphorylated by protein kinases. However, our knowledge of the specific residues and kinases involved is incomplete. The objective of this study was to identify amino acid residues in the Cx43-CT that are targets of the multi-functional protein kinase, Ca2+/calmodulin protein kinase II (CaMKII), an enzyme known to play critical roles in Ca2+ homeostasis, transcription, apoptosis and ischemic heart disease. We subjected fusion protein containing the Cx43-CT to phosphorylation by CaMKII in vitro, digestion with Lys-C and trypsin followed by enrichment for phosphorylated peptides using TiO2, and analysis in an LTQ XL Orbitrap with collision-induced dissociation and electron transfer dissociation. We deduced the sites of modification by interpreting tandem spectra from these “orthogonal” methods of gas phase peptide fragmentation. We have identified 15 serine residues, including one novel site, in the Cx43-CT that are phosphorylated by CaMKII, the activity of which may be important in regulating Cx43 in normal and diseased hearts.
PMCID: PMC3171746  PMID: 21158428
serine phosphorylation; Orbitrap; ETD; CID; C-terminal fusion protein
18.  Phosphorylation of immunity-related GTPases by a Toxoplasma gondii secreted kinase promotes macrophage survival and virulence 
Cell host & microbe  2010;8(6):484-495.
Macrophages are specialized to detect and destroy intracellular microbes and yet a number of pathogens have evolved to exploit this hostile niche. Here we demonstrate that the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii disarms macrophage innate clearance mechanisms by secreting a serine threonine kinase called ROP18, which binds to and phosphorylates immunity-related GTPases (IRGs). Substrate profiling of ROP18 revealed a preference for a conserved motif within switch region I of the GTPase domain, a modification predicted to disrupt IRG function. Consistent with this, expression of ROP18 was both necessary and sufficient to block recruitment of Irgb6, which was in turn required for parasite destruction. ROP18 phosphorylation of IRGs prevented clearance within inflammatory monocytes and IFN-γ-activated macrophages, conferring parasite survival in vivo and promoting virulence. IRGs are implicated in clearance of a variety of intracellular pathogens, suggesting that other virulence factors may similarly thwart this innate cellular defense mechanism.
PMCID: PMC3013631  PMID: 21147463
19.  YKL-40: A Novel Prognostic Fluid Biomarker for Preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease 
Biological psychiatry  2010;68(10):903-912.
Disease-modifying therapies for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) would be most beneficial if applied during the ‘preclinical’ stage (pathology present with cognition intact) before significant neuronal loss occurs. Therefore, biomarkers that can detect AD pathology in its early stages and predict dementia onset and progression will be invaluable for patient care and efficient clinical trial design.
2D–difference gel electrophoresis and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry were used to measure AD-associated changes in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Concentrations of CSF YKL-40 were further evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in the discovery cohort (N=47), an independent sample set (N=292) with paired plasma samples (N=237), frontotemporal lobar degeneration (N=9), and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP, N=6). Human AD brain was studied immunohistochemically to identify potential source(s) of YKL-40.
In the discovery and validation cohorts, mean CSF YKL-40 was higher in very mild and mild AD-type dementia (Clinical Dementia Rating [CDR] 0.5 and 1) vs. controls (CDR 0) and PSP. Importantly, CSF YKL-40/Aβ42 ratio predicted risk of developing cognitive impairment (CDR 0 to CDR>0 conversion) as well as the best CSF biomarkers identified to date, tau/Aβ42 and p-tau181/Aβ42. Mean plasma YKL-40 was higher in CDR 0.5 and 1 vs. CDR 0 groups, and correlated with CSF levels. YKL-40 immunoreactivity was observed within astrocytes near a subset of amyloid plaques, implicating YKL-40 in the neuroinflammatory response to Aβ deposition.
These data demonstrate that YKL-40, a putative indicator of neuroinflammation, is elevated in AD, and that, together with Aβ42, has potential prognostic utility as a biomarker for preclinical AD.
PMCID: PMC3011944  PMID: 21035623
YKL-40; Alzheimer’s disease; biomarkers; cerebrospinal fluid; chitinase-3 like-1; inflammation
20.  DNMT3A Mutations in Acute Myeloid Leukemia 
The New England journal of medicine  2010;363(25):2424-2433.
The genetic alterations responsible for an adverse outcome in most patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are unknown.
Using massively parallel DNA sequencing, we identified a somatic mutation in DNMT3A, encoding a DNA methyltransferase, in the genome of cells from a patient with AML with a normal karyotype. We sequenced the exons of DNMT3A in 280 additional patients with de novo AML to define recurring mutations.
A total of 62 of 281 patients (22.1%) had mutations in DNMT3A that were predicted to affect translation. We identified 18 different missense mutations, the most common of which was predicted to affect amino acid R882 (in 37 patients). We also identified six frameshift, six nonsense, and three splice-site mutations and a 1.5-Mbp deletion encompassing DNMT3A. These mutations were highly enriched in the group of patients with an intermediate-risk cytogenetic profile (56 of 166 patients, or 33.7%) but were absent in all 79 patients with a favorable-risk cytogenetic profile (P<0.001 for both comparisons). The median overall survival among patients with DNMT3A mutations was significantly shorter than that among patients without such mutations (12.3 months vs. 41.1 months, P<0.001). DNMT3A mutations were associated with adverse outcomes among patients with an intermediate-risk cytogenetic profile or FLT3 mutations, regardless of age, and were independently associated with a poor outcome in Cox proportional-hazards analysis.
DNMT3A mutations are highly recurrent in patients with de novo AML with an intermediate-risk cytogenetic profile and are independently associated with a poor outcome. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.)
PMCID: PMC3201818  PMID: 21067377
21.  Identification of FUSE-binding protein 1 as a regulatory mRNA-binding protein that represses nucleophosmin translation 
Oncogene  2010;30(1):77-86.
Nucleophosmin (NPM/B23) is a multifunctional oncoprotein whose protein expression levels dictate cellular growth and proliferation rates. NPM is translationally responsive to hyperactive mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signals, but the mechanism of this regulation is not understood. Using chimeric translational reporters, we found that the 3’ untranslated region (UTR) of the NPM mRNA is sufficient to mediate its translational modulation by mTOR signalling. We show that far upstream element (FUSE)-binding protein 1 (FBP1) interacts specifically with the 3’ UTR of NPM to repress translation. Overexpression of FBP1 resulted in translational repression of NPM mRNAs, while depletion of FBP1 caused a dramatic increase in NPM translation and resulted in enhanced overall cell proliferation. Thus, we propose that FBP1 is a key regulator of cell growth and proliferation through its ability to selectively bind the NPM 3’ UTR and repress NPM translation.
PMCID: PMC3190308  PMID: 20802533
FBP1; Nucleophosmin; Ribosome Biogenesis; Translation
22.  Deep Amino Acid Sequencing of Native Brain GABAA Receptors Using High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry* 
Molecular & Cellular Proteomics : MCP  2011;11(1):M111.011445.
Mass spectrometric sequencing of low abundance, integral membrane proteins, particularly the transmembrane domains, presents challenges that span the multiple phases of sample preparation including solubilization, purification, enzymatic digestion, peptide extraction, and chromatographic separation. We describe a method through which we have obtained high peptide coverage for 12 γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor (GABAA receptor) subunits from 2 picomoles of affinity-purified GABAA receptors from rat brain neocortex. Focusing on the α1 subunit, we identified peptides covering 96% of the protein sequence from fragmentation spectra (MS2) using a database searching algorithm and deduced 80% of the amino acid residues in the protein from de novo sequencing of Orbitrap spectra. The workflow combined microscale membrane protein solubilization, protein delipidation, in-solution multi-enzyme digestion, multiple stationary phases for peptide extraction, and acquisition of high-resolution full scan and fragmentation spectra. For de novo sequencing of peptides containing the transmembrane domains, timed digestions with chymotrypsin were utilized to generate peptides with overlapping sequences that were then recovered by sequential solid phase extraction using a C4 followed by a porous graphitic carbon stationary phase. The specificity of peptide identifications and amino acid residue sequences was increased by high mass accuracy and charge state assignment to parent and fragment ions. Analysis of three separate brain samples demonstrated that 78% of the sequence of the α1 subunit was observed in all three replicates with an additional 13% covered in two of the three replicates, indicating a high degree of sequence coverage reproducibility. Label-free quantitative analysis was applied to the three replicates to determine the relative abundances of 11 γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor subunits. The deep sequence MS data also revealed two N-glycosylation sites on the α1 subunit, confirmed two splice variants of the γ2 subunit (γ2L and γ2S) and resolved a database discrepancy in the sequence of the α5 subunit.
PMCID: PMC3270104  PMID: 22338125
23.  Serum markers may distinguish biliary atresia from other forms of neonatal cholestasis 
Biliary atresia (BA) is the most serious liver disease in infants. Diagnosis currently depends on surgical exploration of the biliary tree. Non-invasive tests that distinguish BA from other types of neonatal liver disease are not available.
To identify potential serum biomarkers that classify children with neonatal cholestasis, we performed 2-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis, statistical analysis, and tandem mass spectrometry using serum samples from 19 infants with BA and 19 infants with non-BA neonatal cholestasis.
11 potential serum biomarkers were found that could in combination classify children with neonatal cholestasis.
Although no single biomarker or imaging test adequately distinguishes BA from other types of neonatal cholestasis, combinations of biomarkers, imaging tests and non-invasive clinical criteria should be further explored as potential tests for rapid and accurate diagnosis of BA.
PMCID: PMC2881691  PMID: 20216099
Proteomics; biliary atresia; neonatal cholestasis; biomarker
24.  A unified sample preparation protocol for proteomic and genomic profiling of cervical swabs to identify biomarkers for cervical cancer screening 
Proteomics. Clinical applications  2008;2(12):1658-1669.
Cervical cancer screening is ideally suited for the development of biomarkers due to the ease of tissue acquisition and the well-established histological transitions. Furthermore, cell and biologic fluid obtained from cervix samples undergo specific molecular changes that can be profiled. However, the ideal manner and techniques for preparing cervical samples remains to be determined. To address this critical issue a patient screening protein and nucleic acid collection protocol was established. RNAlater was used to collect the samples followed by proteomic methods to identify proteins that were differentially expressed in normal cervical epithelial versus cervical cancer cells. Three hundred ninety spots were identified via two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2-D DIGE) that were expressed at either higher or lower levels (>3-fold) in cervical cancer samples. These proteomic results were compared to genes in a cDNA microarray analysis of microdissected neoplastic cervical specimens to identify overlapping patterns of expression. The most frequent pathways represented by the combined dataset were: cell cycle: G2/M DNA damage checkpoint regulation; aryl hydrocarbon receptor signaling; p53 signaling; cell cycle: G1/S checkpoint regulation; and the endoplasmic reticulum stress pathway. HNRPA2B1 was identified as a biomarker candidate with increased expression in cancer compared to normal cervix and validated by Western blot.
PMCID: PMC3042129  PMID: 21136816
2-D DIGE; biomarkers; cervical cancer; cDNA microarray; RNAlater
25.  Identification and Validation of Novel Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers for Staging Early Alzheimer's Disease 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(1):e16032.
Ideally, disease modifying therapies for Alzheimer disease (AD) will be applied during the ‘preclinical’ stage (pathology present with cognition intact) before severe neuronal damage occurs, or upon recognizing very mild cognitive impairment. Developing and judiciously administering such therapies will require biomarker panels to identify early AD pathology, classify disease stage, monitor pathological progression, and predict cognitive decline. To discover such biomarkers, we measured AD-associated changes in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteome.
Methods and Findings
CSF samples from individuals with mild AD (Clinical Dementia Rating [CDR] 1) (n = 24) and cognitively normal controls (CDR 0) (n = 24) were subjected to two-dimensional difference-in-gel electrophoresis. Within 119 differentially-abundant gel features, mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) identified 47 proteins. For validation, eleven proteins were re-evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Six of these assays (NrCAM, YKL-40, chromogranin A, carnosinase I, transthyretin, cystatin C) distinguished CDR 1 and CDR 0 groups and were subsequently applied (with tau, p-tau181 and Aβ42 ELISAs) to a larger independent cohort (n = 292) that included individuals with very mild dementia (CDR 0.5). Receiver-operating characteristic curve analyses using stepwise logistic regression yielded optimal biomarker combinations to distinguish CDR 0 from CDR>0 (tau, YKL-40, NrCAM) and CDR 1 from CDR<1 (tau, chromogranin A, carnosinase I) with areas under the curve of 0.90 (0.85–0.94 95% confidence interval [CI]) and 0.88 (0.81–0.94 CI), respectively.
Four novel CSF biomarkers for AD (NrCAM, YKL-40, chromogranin A, carnosinase I) can improve the diagnostic accuracy of Aβ42 and tau. Together, these six markers describe six clinicopathological stages from cognitive normalcy to mild dementia, including stages defined by increased risk of cognitive decline. Such a panel might improve clinical trial efficiency by guiding subject enrollment and monitoring disease progression. Further studies will be required to validate this panel and evaluate its potential for distinguishing AD from other dementing conditions.
PMCID: PMC3020224  PMID: 21264269

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