Aside from their critical role in reproduction, abalone gonads serve as an indicator of sexual maturity and energy balance, two key considerations for effective abalone culture. Temperate abalone farmers face issues with tank restocking with highly marketable abalone owing to inefficient spawning induction methods. The identification of key proteins in sexually mature abalone will serve as the foundation for a greater understanding of reproductive biology. Addressing this knowledge gap is the first step towards improving abalone aquaculture methods. Proteomic profiling of female and male gonads of greenlip abalone, Haliotis laevigata, was undertaken using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Owing to the incomplete nature of abalone protein databases, in addition to searching against two publicly available databases, a custom database comprising genomic data was used. Overall, 162 and 110 proteins were identified in females and males respectively with 40 proteins common to both sexes. For proteins involved in sexual maturation, sperm and egg structure, motility, acrosomal reaction and fertilization, 23 were identified only in females, 18 only in males and 6 were common. Gene ontology analysis revealed clear differences between the female and male protein profiles reflecting a higher rate of protein synthesis in the ovary and higher metabolic activity in the testis.
Muscle development and remodelling, mitochondrial physiology and inflammation are thought to be inter-related and to have implications for metabolism in both health and disease. However, our understanding of their molecular control is incomplete.
The bacterial replisome is a target for the development of new antibiotics to combat drug resistant strains. The ?(2) sliding clamp is an essential component of the replicative machinery, providing a platform for recruitment and function of other replisomal components and ensuring polymerase processivity during DNA replication and repair. A single binding region of the clamp is utilized by its binding partners, which all contain conserved binding motifs. The C-terminal Leu and Phe residues of these motifs are integral to the binding interaction. We acquired three-dimensional structural information on the binding site in ?(2) by a study of the binding of modified peptides. Development of a three-dimensional pharmacophore based on the C-terminal dipeptide of the motif enabled identification of compounds that on further development inhibited ?-?(2) interaction at low micromolar concentrations. We report the crystal structure of the complex containing one of these inhibitors, a biphenyl oxime, bound to ?(2), as a starting point for further inhibitor design.
The hypothalamus is the central regulatory region of the brain that links the nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland. It synthesizes and secretes neuropeptide hormones, which in turn act to stimulate or inhibit the secretion of pituitary hormones. We have undertaken a detailed MS investigation of the peptides present in the bovine hypothalamus by adapting a novel heat stabilization methodology, which improved peptide discovery to direct our studies into the molecular mechanisms involved in bovine reproduction. The untreated samples contained large numbers of protein degradation products that interfered with the analysis of the neuropeptides. In the thermally stabilized samples, we were able to identify many more neuropeptides that are known to be expressed in the bovine hypothalamus. Furthermore, we have characterized a range of post-translational modifications that indicate the presence of processed intact mature neuropeptides in the stabilized tissue samples, whereas we detected many trimmed or truncated peptides resulting from post-mortem degradation in the untreated tissue samples. Altogether, using an optimized workflow, we were able to identify 140 candidate neuropeptides. We also nominate six new candidate neuropeptides derived from proSAAS, secretogranin-2 and proTRH.
The physical, endocrine, and metabolic responses of livestock to road transport have been evaluated by conventional hematological and biochemistry parameters for more than 20 years. However, these measures are relatively insensitive to subtle metabolic adaptations. We applied NMR-based metabonomics to assess system-wide metabolic responses as expressed in urine and serum of a large cohort of animals (n = 80) subjected to 12 and 48 h road transport. The profiling of (1)H NMR spectra revealed that the transported animals experienced altered gut and energy metabolism, muscle catabolism, and possibly a renal response. The animals transported for 48 h exhibited a deeper metabolic response to the transport event and a complex and expanded metabolic trajectory over the 72 h recovery period. Intriguingly, excretion of acyl glycines and a dicarboxylic acid was observed after transport and during recovery, implicating peroxisomal fatty acid oxidation as a metabolic response to transport-induced stress.
Two different classes of small nematode specific lipid-binding proteins, the nematode polyprotein allergens/antigens (NPAs) and the fatty acid- and retinol-binding (FAR) proteins, are secreted by helminth parasites. Until now, there was no evidence of the expression or secretion of these two families of proteins in Haemonchus contortus. In this study, we applied proteomic and bioinformatic tools in an iterative manner to reveal the expression and complexity of these proteins in the excretory/secretory products (ESP) of adult H. contortus at the protein and gene levels. Initial examination of the mass spectra of ESP fractions against standard databases returned nine peptides mapping to Ostertagia ostertagi NPA and FAR sequences. Searches of the H. contortus EST and genomic contig databases with the O. ostertagi and Caenorhabditis elegans homologues retrieved diverse sequences encoding H. contortus NPA and FAR proteins. H. contortus sequences were then integrated into a customized database and a new search of the mass spectra achieved a 10-fold improvement in coverage of the predicted H. contortus NPAs. The final analyses of the mass spectra achieved 49-60% coverage of H. contortus NPAs and 7-47% coverage of H. contortus FARs. Moreover, the diversity in structures of the encoding genes was revealed by assembling the genomic sequence data with predicted protein sequences confirmed by the peptide evidence. We predict there are at least one Hc-NPA gene and six Hc-FAR genes in H. contortus, and life stage gene expression of Hc-FAR-1 to -6 revealed unique transcription patterns for each of these genes.
The study of biologically active peptides is critical to the understanding of physiological pathways, especially those involved in the development of disease. Historically, the measurement of biologically active endogenous peptides has been undertaken by radioimmunoassay, a highly sensitive and robust technique that permits the detection of physiological concentrations in different biofluid and tissue extracts. Over recent years, a range of mass spectrometric approaches have been applied to peptide quantification with limited degrees of success. Neuropeptide Y (NPY), peptide YY (PYY), and pancreatic polypeptide (PP) belong to the NPY family exhibiting regulatory effects on appetite and feeding behavior. The physiological significance of these peptides depends on their molecular forms and in vivo concentrations systemically and at local sites within tissues. In this report, we describe an approach for quantification of individual peptides within mixtures using high-performance liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry analysis of the NPY family peptides. Aspects of quantification including sample preparation, the use of matrix-matched calibration curves, and internal standards will be discussed. This method for the simultaneous determination of NPY, PYY, and PP was accurate and reproducible but lacks the sensitivity required for measurement of their endogenous concentration in plasma. The advantages of mass spectrometric quantification will be discussed alongside the current obstacles and challenges.
Nontargeted metabolite fingerprinting is increasingly applied to biomedical classification. The choice of classification algorithm may have a considerable impact on outcome. In this study, employing nested cross-validation for assessing predictive performance, six binary classification algorithms in combination with different strategies for data-driven feature selection were systematically compared on five data sets of urine, serum, plasma, and milk one-dimensional fingerprints obtained by proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Support Vector Machines and Random Forests combined with t-score-based feature filtering performed well on most data sets, whereas the performance of the other tested methods varied between data sets.
Thousands of metabolites are excreted in urine, and potentially can be detected in NMR spectra. Currently, NMR spectral information for about one thousand metabolites has been deposited in publicly available sources, limiting the identification of chemical compounds that are potential biomarkers for clinical and subclinical applications. This study reports the identification of crotonyl glycine, one of the key metabolites detected by ¹H NMR as excreted in the urine of sheep after 48 h road transport and during the subsequent 72 h recovery period. This metabolite was important in separating the metabolic responses as expressed in the urine from animals undergoing shorter road transport treatments. At the time of the metabonomic analysis, the NMR signals from this metabolite were designated as unassigned as no match was found in public databases or the literature. Selected sheep urine samples containing the metabolite were resolved by reversed phase HPLC reducing the sample complexity. Subsequent ¹H NMR spectra of the collected fractions revealed that the unknown metabolite was present in a single HPLC fraction. High-resolution 1D and 2D ¹H NMR spectra of this fraction followed by mass determination of the parent ion and its fragments by nanoESI-TOF-MS/MS revealed the identity of the compound as crotonyl glycine (N-but-(E)-2-enoyl glycine). The HPLC fraction was subsequently spiked with synthetic crotonyl glycine which confirmed identification.
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