Glycomic profiles derived from human blood sera of 10 healthy males were compared to those from 24 prostate cancer patients. The profiles were acquired using MALDI-MS of permethylated N-glycans released from 10-μl sample aliquots. Quantitative permethylation was attained using solid-phase permethylation. Principal component analysis of the glycomic profiles revealed significant differences among the two sets, allowing their distinct clustering. The first principal component distinguished the 24 prostate cancer patients from the healthy individuals. It was determined that fucosylation of glycan structures is generally higher in cancer samples (ANOVA test p-value of 0.0006). Although more than 50 N-glycan structures were determined, twelve glycan structures, of which six were fucosylated, were significantly different between the two sample sets. Significant differences were confirmed through two independent statistical tests (ANOVA and ROC analyses). Ten of these structures had a significantly higher relative intensities in the case of the cancer samples, while the other two were less abundant in the cancer samples. All 12 structures were statistically significant, as suggested by their very low ANOVA scores (< 0.001) and ROC analysis, with area under the curve values close to 1 or zero. Accordingly, these structures can be considered as cancer–specific glycans and potential prostate cancer biomarkers. Therefore, serum glycomic profiling appears worthy of further investigation to define its role in cancer early detection and prognostication.
prostate cancer; glycomics; human blood serum; biomarkers; MALDI-TOF; mass spectrometry
Among the most important proteins involved in the disease and healing processes are the immunoglobulins (Igs). Although many of the Igs have been studied through proteomics, aside from IgG, immunoglobulin carbohydrates have not been extensively characterized in different states of health. It seems valuable to develop techniques that permit us to understand changes in the structures and abundances of Ig glycans in the context of disease onset and progression. We have devised a strategy for characterization of the glycans for the Ig classes other than IgG (i.e. A, D, E, and M) that contain kappa light chains, while using only a few microliters of biological material. First, we designed a microcolumn containing the recombinant Protein L that was immobilized on macroporous silica particles. A similarly designed Protein G microcolumn was utilized to first perform an on-line depletion of the IgG from the sample, human blood serum, and thereby facilitate enrichment of the other Igs. While only 3 μL of serum were used in these analyses, we were able to recover a significantly-enriched fraction of non-IgG immunoglobulins. The enrichment properties of the Protein L column were characterized using a highly sensitive label-free quantitative proteomics LC-MS/MS approach, and the glycomic profiles of enriched immunoglobulins were measured by MALDI-TOF-MS. As a proof-of-principle, a comparative study was conducted using blood serum from a small group of lung cancer patients and a group of age-matched cancer-free individuals to demonstrate that the method is suitable for investigation of glycosylation changes in disease. The results were in agreement with a glycomic investigation of whole blood serum from a much larger lung cancer cohort.
Highly efficient separation techniques, laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) detection, and different mass-spectrometric (MS) measurements were combined in a multimethodological scheme to perform a comprehensive structural characterization of N-linked oligosaccharides in a murine monoclonal antibody (immunoglobulin G (IgGk)). Monosaccharide compositional analysis was carried out through a capillary electrophoresis (CE)-LIF method, in which the chemically and enzymatically released sugars were fluorescently labeled. This analysis provides a preliminary assessment of certain structures, being followed by CE-LIF and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)-MS profiling of the intact glycan structures. Linkages and monosaccharide residues were confirmed by MALDI-MS in conjunction with exoglycosidase digestion. MALDI-MS and CE data were effectively combined to reveal the overall structural diversity of both acidic and neutral glycans. Finally, the sites of glycosylation and site occupancies were deduced through the measurements performed with microcolumn liquid chromatography coupled via electrospray to a quadrupole/time-of-flight instrument.
Glycoproteins; Glycosylation sites; N-Glycans; Recombinant monoclonal antibody
High-sensitivity glycoprotein analyses are of particular interest in modern biomedical and clinical research, as well as in the development of recombinant protein products. The evolution of new hyphenated methodologies in high-sensitivity glycoprotein analysis is highlighted in this thematic review. These methodologies include, in particular, capillary LC/MALDI/TOF/TOF MS in conjunction with online permethylation platform, and silica-based lectin microcolumns interfaced to MS. The potential of these methodologies in glycomic and glycoproteomic analysis is demonstrated for model glycoproteins as well as total glycomes and glycoproteomes derived from biological samples. Additionally, the applications of CE-MS, CEC, and nanoLC with graphitized carbon in the areas of glycomics and glycoproteomics are described.
Glycomics; Glycoproteomics; LC/MALDI/TOF/TOF MS; LC/MS; Lectin; Oligosaccharides; Online permethylation; Review; Tandem mass spectrometry
We designed and fabricated microfluidic devices with serpentine separation channels and asymmetrically tapered turns, thus allowing high efficiency separations and minimizing band broadening associated with the “racetrack” effect. We evaluated the performance of these devices by measuring the variation in separation efficiency with separation length, electric field strength, taper ratio of the turns, and number of turns. N-Glycans derived from ribonuclease B (RNase B) and labeled with 8-aminopyrene-1,3,6-trisulfonic acid were electrophoretically separated on serpentine channels with separation lengths of 11, 18, 22, and 36 cm at electric field strengths from 750 to 1750 V/cm. Separations on the 36-cm channel produced plate numbers up to 940,000 with an analysis time under 3.1 min, whereas separations on the 22-cm channel had a shorter analysis time (less than 1.25 min), still with respectable efficiencies (up to 600,000 plates). Turn-induced dispersion was minimized with taper ratios 2 and 3, whereas having two or four 180° turns along the separation length did not impact the overall efficiency. The developed device was used to analyze native and desialylated N-glycans derived from the blood serum of an ovarian cancer patient and a disease-free individual. Separation efficiencies similar to that achieved with the model glycans from RNase B were attained for these biological samples.
microchip electrophoresis; asymmetric turns; serpentine microchannels; N-glycans; ovarian cancer
Hepatocellular cancer is a serious human disease with an unfortunately low survival rate. It further poses a significant epidemic threat to our society through its viral vectors associated with cirrhosis conditions preceding the cancer. A search for biomarkers of these diseases enlists analytical glycobiology, in general, and quantitative biomolecular mass spectrometry (MS), in particular, as valuable approaches to cancer research. The recent advances in quantitative glycan permethylation prior to MALDI-MS oligosaccharide profiling has enabled us to compare the glycan quantitative proportions in the small serum samples of cancer and cirrhotic patients against control individuals. We were further able to fractionate the major serum proteins from the minor components and compare statistically their differential glycosylation, elucidating some causes of quantitatively unusual glycosylation events. Numerous glycan structures were tentatively identified and connected with the origin proteins, with a particular emphasis on sialylated and fucosylated glycans.
glycomics; hepatocellular carcinoma; permethylation; immunoaffinity fractionation; MALDI-TOF MS; glycans
Reproducible and efficient affinity enrichment is increasingly viewed as an essential step in many investigations leading to the discovery of new biomarkers. In this work, we have evaluated the repeatability of lectin enrichment of glycoproteins from human blood serum through both qualitative and quantitative proteomic approaches. In a comprehensive evaluation of lectin binding, we have performed 30 separate microscale lectin affinity chromatography experiments, followed by a conventional sample purification, and LC-MS/MS analysis of the enriched glycoproteins. Two lectin affinity matrixes, both with Con A lectin immobilized to the same solid support but differing in the amount of immobilized lectin, were investigated to characterize their binding properties. Both qualitative and quantitative data indicate acceptable repeatability and binding efficiency for the lectin materials received from two different commercial sources.
Glycoproteins; Lectin Affinity Chromatography; Quantitative Glycoproteomics; LC-MS/MS
Protein glycosylation has a significant medical importance as changes in glycosylation patterns have been associated with a number of diseases. Therefore, monitoring potential changes in glycan profiles, and the microheterogeneities associated with glycosylation sites are becoming increasingly important in the search for disease biomarkers. Highly efficient separations and sensitive methods must be developed to effectively monitor changes in the glycoproteome. These methods must not discriminate against hydrophobic or hydrophilic analytes. The use of activated graphitized carbon as a desalting media and a stationary phase for the purification and the separation of glycans, and as a stationary phase for the separation of small glycopeptides has previously been reported. Here, we describe the use of activated graphitized carbon as a stationary phase for the separation of hydrophilic tryptic glycopeptides, employing a chip-based liquid chromatographic system. The capabilities of both activated graphitized carbon and C18 LC chips for the characterization of the glycopeptides appeared to be comparable. Adequate retention time reproducibility was achieved for both packing types in the chip format. However, hydrophilic glycopeptides were preferentially retained on the activated graphitized carbon chip, thus allowing the identification of hydrophilic glycopeptides which were not effectively retained on C18 chips. On the other hand, hydrophobic glycopeptides were better retained on C18 chips. Characterization of the glycosylation sites of glycoproteins possessing both hydrophilic and hydrophobic glycopeptides is comprehensively achieved using both media. This is feasible considering the limited amount of sample required per analysis (< 1 pmol). The performance of both media was also appeared comparable when analyzing a 4-protein mixture. Similar sequence coverage and MASCOT ion scores were observed for all proteins when using either stationary phase.
Activated graphitized carbon chip; Glycopeptides; LC/MSMS
Glycosylated proteins play important roles in a broad spectrum of biochemical and biological processes, and prior reports have suggested that changes in protein glycosylation occur during cancer initiation and progression. Ovarian cancer (OC) is a fatal malignancy, most commonly diagnosed after the development of metastases. Therefore, early detection of OC is key to improving survival. To this end, specific changes of the serum glycome have been proposed as possible biomarkers for different types of cancers. In this study, we extend this concept to OC. To characterize differences in total N-glycan levels, serum samples provided by 20 healthy control women were compared to those acquired from patients diagnosed with late-stage recurrent OC who were enrolled in an experimental treatment trial prior to receiving therapy (N = 19) and one month later, prior to the second treatment cycle (N = 11). Additionally, analyses of the N-glycans associated with IgG and characterization of the relative abundance levels of core vs. outer-arm fucosylation were also performed. The N-linked glycomic profiles revealed increased abundances of tri- and tetra-branched structures with varying degrees of sialylation and fucosylation and an apparent decrease in the levels of “bisecting” glycans in OC samples compared to controls. Increased levels of a-galactosylated structures were observed on N-linked glycans derived from IgG, which were independent of the presence of fucose residues. Elevated levels of outer-arm fucosylation were also identified in the OC samples. These results allowed the control samples to be distinguished from the baseline ovarian cancer patients prior to receiving the experimental treatment. In some cases, the pre-treatment samples could be distinguished from the post-experimental treatment samples, as many of those patients showed a further progression of the disease.
ovarian cancer; permethylation; disease markers; fucosylation; IgG; glycomics; exoglycosidase digestion
Altered branching and aberrant expression of N-linked glycans is known to be associated with disease states such as cancer. However, the complexity of determining such variations hinders the development of specific glycomic approaches for assessing disease states. Here, we examine a combination of ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) and mass spectrometry (MS) measurements, with principal component analysis (PCA) for characterizing serum N-linked glycans from 81 individuals: 28 with cirrhosis of the liver; 25 with liver cancer; and 28 apparently healthy. Supervised PCA of combined ion-mobility profiles for several, to as many as ten different mass-to-charge ratios for glycan ions, improves the delineation of diseased states. This extends an earlier study [J.Proteome Res.
2008, 7, 1109-1117] of isomers associated with a single glycan (S1H5N4) in which PCA analysis of the IMS profiles appeared to differentiate the liver cancer group from the other samples. Although performed on a limited number of test subjects, the combination of IMS-MS for different combinations of ions and multivariate PCA analysis shows promise for characterizing disease states.
ion mobility; ESI mass spectrometry; glycans; cancer; principal component analysis
Adult neurogenesis in female mice is known to be enhanced by exposure to soiled bedding from males, although the identity of the relevant chemosignals has remained unknown. Here we show that the previously recognized male murine pheromones, the farnesenes and 2-sec-butyl-4,5-dihydrothiazole (SBT), strongly increase cell proliferation in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of adult female mice, but not younger female mice. In addition, we found that a unique female murine pheromone, 2,5-dimethylpyrazine, facilitates similar changes in males. SBT stimulated cell proliferation in the SVZ of only adult females and not in young adult or pre- and post-puberty females. Our study suggests that pheromonal communication between males and females is enhancing reproductive success by controlling the estrous cycle and by promoting cell proliferation in a reciprocal manner.
pheromones; enhanced cell proliferation; subventricular zone; male; female; mice
The study of protein glycosylation in biological fluids and tissues has substantial medical importance, as changes in glycan structures have now been associated with a number of diseases. Quantification of glycomic-profile changes is becoming increasingly important in the search for disease biomarkers. Here, we report a highly reproducible combination of a glycomic sample preparation/solid-phase derivatization of glycoprotein-derived N-linked glycans with their subsequent microchip-based separation and mass-spectrometric (MS) measurements. Following our previously-described reductive β-elimination for O-linked glycans with ammonia-borane complex to reduce N-linked structures, the N-linked alditol structures are effectively methylated in dimethylformamide medium to avoid artefacts in MS measurements. Reversed-phase microfluidic liquid chromatography (LC) of methylated N-linked oligosaccharide alditols resolved some closely related structures into regular retention increments, aiding in their structural assignments. Optimized LC gradients, together with nanospray MS, have been applied here in the quantitative measurements of N-linked glycans in blood serum, distinguishing breast cancer patients from control individuals.
LC-MS; cancer; blood serum glycoproteins; glycans; biomarker; ammonia-borane complex; permethylation
A number of alterations to the normal glycomic profile have been previously described for a number of diseases and disorders, thus underscoring the medical importance of studying the glycans associated with proteins present in biological samples. An important alteration in cancer progression is an increased level of α2,6-sialylation, which aids in increasing the metastatic potential of tumor cells. Here we report a glycomic method that selectively amidates α2,6-linked sialic acids, while those that are α2,3-linked undergo spontaneous lactonization. Following subsequent permethylation, MALDI-TOF-MS analysis revealed that many sialylated glycans present on glycoproteins found in blood serum featured increased levels of α2,6 sialylation in breast cancer samples. Based on the altered ratios of α2,3-linked to α2,6-linked sialic acids, many of these glycans became diagnostically relevant when they did not act as such indicators when based on traditional glycomic profiling alone.
cancer; sialic acid; permethylation; amidation; lactonization
Whereas glycoproteomic studies provide unique opportunities for cancer research, it has been necessary to develop specific methods for analysis of oncologically interesting glycoproteins. We describe a general, multimethodological approach for quantitative glycoproteomic analysis of fucosylated glycoproteins in human blood serum. A total of 136 putative fucosylated glycoproteins were identified with very high confidence in three clinically relevant sample pools (N=5 for each), with a mean coefficient of variation of 3.1% observed for replicate analyses. Two samples were collected from subjects diagnosed with esophagus disease states, high-grade dysplasia (HGD) plus esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), while the third sample was representative of a disease-free (DF) condition. Some glycoproteins, observed to be significantly upregulated in EAC, i.e. more than 2-fold higher than in the DF condition, are briefly discussed. Further investigation will be necessary to validate these findings; however, the method itself is demonstrated to be an effective tool for quantitative glycoproteomics of clinical samples.
Chemical signaling has been documented in many animals, but its potential importance in avian species, particularly songbirds, has received far less attention. We tested whether volatile compounds in the preen oil of a songbird (Junco hyemalis) contain reliable information about individual identity, sex, or population of origin by repeated sampling from captive male and female juncos originating from 2 recently diverged junco populations in southern California. One of the populations recently colonized an urban environment; the other resides in a species-typical montane environment. The birds were field-caught as juveniles, housed under identical conditions, and fed the same diet for 10 months prior to sampling. We used capillary gas chromatography–mass spectrometry to quantify the relative abundance of 19 volatile compounds previously shown to vary seasonally in this species. We found individual repeatability as well as significant sex and population differences in volatile profiles. The persistence of population differences in a common environment suggests that preen oil chemistry likely has a genetic basis and may thus evolve rapidly in response to environmental change. These finding suggest that songbird preen oil odors have the potential to function as chemosignals associated with mate recognition or reproductive isolation.
birds; chemical communication; Junco hyemalis; olfaction; pheromones
It appears that most glycoproteins found in pathogenic bacteria are associated with virulence. Despite the recent identification of novel virulence factors, the mechanisms of virulence in Francisella tularensis are poorly understood. In spite of its importance, questions about glycosylation of proteins in this bacterium and its potential connection with bacterial virulence have not been answered yet. In the present study, several putative Francisella tularensis glycoproteins were characterized through the combination of carbohydrate-specific detection and lectin affinity with highly sensitive mass spectrometry utilizing the bottom-up proteomic approach. The protein PilA that was recently found as being possibly glycosylated, as well as other proteins with designation as novel factors of virulence, were among the proteins identified in this study. The reported data compile the list of potential glycoproteins that may serve as a take-off platform for a further definition of proteins modified by glycans, faciliting a better understanding of the function of protein glycosylation in pathogenicity of Francisella tularensis.
Francisella tularensis; glycoprotein; glycosylation; hydrazide; lectin affinity; 2-DE; mass spectrometry
Glycocylation represents the most complex and widespread post-translational modifications in human proteins. The variation of glycosylation is closely related to oncogenic transformation. Therefore, profiling of glycans detached from proteins is a promising strategy to identify biomarkers for cancer detection. This study identified candidate glycan biomarkers associated with hepatocellular carcinoma by mass spectrometry. Specifically, mass spectrometry data were analyzed with a peak selection procedure which incorporates multiple random sampling strategies with recursive feature selection based on support vector machines. Ten peak sets were obtained from different combinations of samples. Seven peaks were shared by each of the 10 peaksets, in which 7–12 peaks were selected, indicating 58–100% of peaks were shared by the 10 peaksets. Support vector machines and hierarchical clustering method were used to evaluate the performance of the peaksets. The predictive performance of the seven peaks was further evaluated by using 19 newly generated MALDI-TOF spectra. Glycan structures for four glycans of the seven peaks were determined. Literature search indicated that the structures of the four glycans could be found in some cancer-related glycoproteins. The method of this study is significant in deriving consistent, accurate, and biological significant glycan marker candidates for hepatocellular carcinoma diagnosis.
hepatocellular carcinoma; glycan biomarker; biomarker discovery; mass spectrometry; support vector machine; recursive feature selection
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represents an increasing health problem in the United States. Serum α-fetoprotein, the currently used clinical marker, is elevated in only ~60% of HCC patients; therefore, the identification of additional markers is expected to have significant public health impact. The objective of our study was to quantitatively assess N-glycans originating from serum glycoproteins as alternative markers for the detection of HCC.
We used matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry for quantitative comparison of 83 N-glycans in serum samples of 202 participants (73 HCC cases, 77 age- and gender-matched cancer-free controls, and 52 patients with chronic liver disease). N-glycans were enzymatically released from serum glycoproteins and permethylated before mass spectrometric quantification.
The abundance of 57 N-glycans was significantly altered in HCC patients compared with controls. The sensitivity of six individual glycans evaluated for separation of HCC cases from population controls ranged from 73% to 90%, and the specificity ranged from 36% to 91%. A combination of three selected N-glycans was sufficient to classify HCC with 90% sensitivity and 89% specificity in an independent validation set of patients with chronic liver disease. The three N-glycans remained associated with HCC after adjustment for chronic viral infection and other known covariates, whereas the other glycans increased significantly at earlier stages of the progression of chronic viral infection to HCC.
A set of three identified N-glycans is sufficient for the detection of HCC with 90% prediction accuracy in a population with high rates of hepatitis C viral infection. Further evaluation of a wider clinical utility of these candidate markers is warranted.
Characterization of structural isomers has become increasingly important and extremely challenging in glycobiology. This communication demonstrates the capability of ion-trap mass spectrometry in conjunction with 157 nm photofragmentation to identify different structural isomers of permethylated N-glycans derived from ovalbumin without chromatographic separation. The results are compared with CID experiments. Photodissociation generates extensive cross-ring fragment ions as well as diagnostic glycosidic product ions that are not usually observed in CID MS/MS experiments. The detection of these product ions aids in characterizing indigenous glycan isomers. The ion-trap facilitates MSn experiments on the diagnostic glycosidic fragments and cross-ring product ions generated through photofragmentation, thus allowing unambiguous assignment of all of the isomeric structures associated with the model glycoprotein utilized in this study. Photofragmentation is demonstrated to be a powerful technique for the structural characterization of glycans.
This review discusses the current trends in molecular profiling for the emerging systems biology applications. Historically, the methodological developments in separation science were coincident with the availability of new ionization techniques in mass spectrometry. Coupling miniaturized separation techniques with technologically-advanced MS instrumentation and the modern data processing capabilities are at the heart of current platforms for proteomics, glycomics and metabolomics. These are being featured here by the examples from quantitative proteomics, glycan mapping and metabolomic profiling of physiological fluids.
systems biology; metabolomic profiling; quantitative proteomics; glycomic profiling; biodiversity; animal models; bioinformatics; stable isotope labeling; metabolic stable isotope labeling LC-MS; GC-MS
α chain of T-cell receptor (TCR) is a typical ERAD (ER-associated degradation) substrate degraded in the absence of other TCR subunits. Depletion of derlin1 fails to induce accumulation of αTCR despite inducing accumulation of α1-antitrypsin, another ERAD substrate. Furthermore, while depletion of VCP does not affect levels of α1-antitrypsin, it induces an increase in levels of αTCR. RNAi of VCP induces preferential accumulation of αTCR with less mannose residues, suggesting its retention within the ER. Mass spectrometric analysis of cellular N-linked glycans revealed that depletion of VCP decreases the level of high mannose glycoproteins, increases the levels of truncated low-mannose glycoproteins and induces changes in the abundance of complex glycans assembled in post-ER compartments. Since proteasome inhibition was unable to mimic those changes, they can not be regarded as a simple consequence of inhibited ERAD but represent a complex effect of VCP on the function of the ER.
T-cell receptor; ER-associated degradation (ERAD); valosin-containing protein (VCP); derlin; retrotranslocation; ubiquitin; proteasome; protein degradation
Individuals are thought to have their own distinctive scent, analogous to a signature or fingerprint. To test this idea, we collected axillary sweat, urine and saliva from 197 adults from a village in the Austrian Alps, taking five sweat samples per subject over 10 weeks using a novel skin sampling device. We analysed samples using stir bar sorptive extraction in connection with thermal desorption gas chromatograph–mass spectrometry (GC–MS), and then we statistically analysed the chromatographic profiles using pattern recognition techniques. We found more volatile compounds in axillary sweat than in urine or saliva, and among these we found 373 peaks that were consistent over time (detected in four out of five samples per individual). Among these candidate compounds, we found individually distinct and reproducible GC–MS fingerprints, a reproducible difference between the sexes, and we identified the chemical structures of 44 individual and 12 gender-specific volatile compounds. These individual compounds provide candidates for major histocompatibility complex and other genetically determined odours. This is the first study on human axillary odour to sample a large number of subjects, and our findings are relevant to understanding the chemical nature of human odour, and efforts to design electronic sensors (e-nose) for biometric fingerprinting and disease diagnoses.
individual odour; chemical communication; volatile biomarkers; metabolomics; chemometric pattern recognition
Using model acidic glycans, we demonstrate the benefits of permethylation for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight/time-of-flight (MALDI/TOF-TOF) tandem mass spectrometry. With both the linear and branched structures, extensive cross-ring fragmentation product ions were generated, yielding valuable information on sugar linkages. Elimination of the negative charges commonly associated with sialylated structures through permethylation allowed their structural analysis in the positive ion mode. Extensive A- and X-type ions were observed for the linear structures, and slightly weaker signals for the branched sialylated structures. The diagnostic cross-ring fragments, permitting a distinction between α2-3 and α2-6 linkages of the sialic acid residues, were seen in abundance. Importantly, the cross-ring fragmentation with the branched structures provides adequate information to assign sialic acid residues, with a specific linkage, to a particular antenna.
Silica-based lectin microcolumns are described in this study together with the chemical procedures necessary for their preparation. The analytical merits of Canavalia ensiformis and Sambucus nigra lectins, [immobilized on activated macroporous silica], such as binding capacity, trapping reproducibility, and substrate selectivity, have been evaluated using model glycoproteins. The described microcolumns are applicable to high-pressure analytical schemes utilizing microvalving procedures, washing steps, and quantitative desorption for LC/MS analysis. The described analytical systems are amenable to the applications aiming at fractionation of complex glycopeptide mixtures and determination of the sites of glycosylation.
Previous findings from our laboratory and others indicate that two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) can be used to study protein expression in defined brain regions, but mainly the proteins which are present in high abundance in glia are readily detected. The current study was undertaken to determine the protein profile in a synaptosomal subcellular fraction isolated from the cerebral cortex of the rat. Both 2-DE and liquid chromatography – tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) procedures were used to isolate and identify proteins in the synaptosomal fraction and accordingly >900 proteins were detected using 2-DE; the 167 most intense gel spots were isolated and identified with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization – time of flight peptide mass fingerprinting or LC-MS/MS. In addition, over 200 proteins were separated and identified with the LC-MS/MS “shotgun proteomics” technique, some in post-translationally modified form. The following classes of proteins associated with synaptic function were detected: (a) proteins involved in synaptic vesicle trafficking-docking (e.g., SNAP-25, synapsin I and II, synaptotagmin I, II, and V, VAMP-2, syntaxin 1A and 1B, etc.); (b) proteins that function as transporters or receptors (e.g., excitatory amino acid transporters 1 and 2, GABA transporter 1); (c) proteins that are associated with the synaptic plasma membrane (e.g., post-synaptic density-95/synapse-associated protein-90 complex, neuromodulin (GAP-43), voltage-dependent anion-selective channel protein (VDACs), sodium-potassium ATPase subunits, alpha 2 spectrin, septin 7, etc.); and (d) proteins that mediate intracellular signaling cascades that modulate synaptic function (e.g., calmodulin, calcium-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase subunits, etc.). Other identified proteins are associated with mitochondrial or general cytosolic function. Of the two proteins identified as endoplasmic reticular, both interact with the synaptic SNARE complex to regulate vesicle trafficking. Taken together, these results suggest that the integrity of the synaptosomes was maintained during the isolation procedure and that this subcellular fractionation technique enables the enrichment of proteins associated with synaptic function. The results also suggest that this experimental approach can be used to study the differential expression of multiple proteins involved in alterations of synaptic function.
Cerebral cortex; Mass spectrometry; Proteome; Rat; Synaptic proteins; Synaptosomes; Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis