Data-dependent acquisition (DDA) and data-independent acquisition strategies (DIA) have both resulted in improved understanding of proteomics samples. Both strategies have advantages and disadvantages that are well-published, where DDA is typically applied for deep discovery and DIA may be used to create sample records. In this paper, we present a hybrid data acquisition and processing strategy (pSMART) that combines the strengths of both techniques and provides significant benefits for qualitative and quantitative peptide analysis. The performance of pSMART is compared to published DIA strategies in an experiment that allows the objective assessment of DIA performance with respect to interrogation of previously acquired MS data. The results of this experiment demonstrate that pSMART creates fewer decoy hits than a standard DIA strategy. Moreover, we show that pSMART is more selective, sensitive, and reproducible than either standard DIA or DDA strategies alone.
The phenotypic effect of some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) depends on their parental origin. We present a novel approach to detect parent-of-origin effects (POEs) in genome-wide genotype data of unrelated individuals. The method exploits increased phenotypic variance in the heterozygous genotype group relative to the homozygous groups. We applied the method to >56,000 unrelated individuals to search for POEs influencing body mass index (BMI). Six lead SNPs were carried forward for replication in five family-based studies (of ?4,000 trios). Two SNPs replicated: the paternal rs2471083-C allele (located near the imprinted KCNK9 gene) and the paternal rs3091869-T allele (located near the SLC2A10 gene) increased BMI equally (beta?=?0.11 (SD), P<0.0027) compared to the respective maternal alleles. Real-time PCR experiments of lymphoblastoid cell lines from the CEPH families showed that expression of both genes was dependent on parental origin of the SNPs alleles (P<0.01). Our scheme opens new opportunities to exploit GWAS data of unrelated individuals to identify POEs and demonstrates that they play an important role in adult obesity.
Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) is an abundant plasma protein that interacts with low density lipoprotein receptors and other proteins, participating in the transport of cholesterol and lipids. Research has revealed many other roles for this multifunctional protein. ApoE is polymorphic and exists in three major isoforms: ApoE2, ApoE3 (the most common isoform) and ApoE4, which differ by only one amino acid, at positions 112 and 158. The altered binding to lipids and receptors by ApoE isoforms E2 and E4 results in an elevated risk for neurological, cerebrovascular and cardiovascular pathologies. Most notably, ApoE4 is associated with an elevated risk (relative to E3) for Alzheimer's disease. The application of mass spectrometry for genotyping and also direct measurement of ApoE protein isoforms is a recent development and is well suited to high-throughput applications. The precise quantification of protein isoforms will allow better characterization of effects resulting from heterozygous APOE genotypes.
IntroductionBiomarkers to identify osteoarthritis (OA) patients at risk for disease progression are needed. As part of a proteomic analysis of knee synovial fluid from normal and OA patients, differentially expressed proteins were identified that could represent potential biomarkers for OA. This study aimed to use mass spectrometry assays to identify representative peptides from several proteins in synovial fluid and peripheral blood, and assess their levels as biomarkers of OA progression.MethodsMultiplexed high throughput selected reaction monitoring (SRM) assays were developed to measure tryptic peptides representative of 23 proteins in matched serum and synovial fluid samples from late OA subjects at the time of joint replacement. Subsequently plasma samples from the baseline visit of 173 subjects in an observational OA cohort were tested by SRM for peptides from nine of these proteins: afamin, clusterin, cartilage oligomeric matrix protein, hepatocyte growth factor, kallistatin, insulin-like growth factor binding protein, acid labile subunit, lubricin, lumican, and pigment epithelium-derived factor. Linear regression was used to determine the association between the peptide biomarker level at baseline and change in joint space width (¿JSW) from baseline to 30 months, adjusting for age and sex.ResultsIn the matched cohort, 17 proteins could be identified in synovial fluid and 15 proteins were detected in serum. For the progression cohort, the average age was 62 and average ¿JSW over 30 months was 0.68 mm. A high correlation between different peptides from individual proteins was observed, indicating our assays correctly measured their target proteins. Peptides representative of clusterin, lumican and lubricin showed statistically significant associations with joint space narrowing after adjustment for age and sex. Partial R2 values showed clusterin FMETVAEK and lubricin LVEVNPK peptide biomarkers explains about 2 to 3% of the variability of ¿JSW, similar to that explained by age. A biomarker score combining normalized data for both lubricin and clusterin peptides increased the model R2 to 0.079.ConclusionsOur results suggest that when combined, levels of peptides representative of clusterin and lubricin in plasma are as predictive of OA progression as age. Replication of these findings in other prospective OA cohorts is planned.
The analysis of intact parathyroid hormone (PTH) (PTH1-84) is useful in the diagnosis of hyper- and hypocalcaemia, hyperparathyroidism, and in the prevention of bone mineral disorders in renal patients. The analysis is complicated by the presence of PTH fragments, which may accumulate in renal failure and cross-react in immunoassays, including the most recent third-generation immunoassays. Large variability exists between different commercially available assays. This article reviews the current literature on PTH testing, with emphasis on the use of mass spectrometry-based methods, and considers the important sources of variation which still need to be addressed prior to the development of much needed candidate reference methods for PTH analysis. Recently, mass spectrometric methods have been developed for the quantitation of PTH1-84 using surrogate tryptic peptides, but even these methods are subject to significant interferences due to the presence of newly observed modified PTH species, such as oxidised and phosphorylated PTH variants, which can accumulate in patient samples. Further work, including: 1) the use of high-resolution mass spectrometry; and 2) the analysis of PTH without prior protease digestion, is required before these approaches can be considered as reference methods against which other methods should be harmonised.
The circumsporozoite (CS) protein is a major malaria sporozoite surface antigen currently being considered as vaccine candidate. Plasmodium vivax CS (PvCS) protein comprises a dimorphic central repeat fragment flanked by conserved regions that contain functional domains involved in parasite invasion of host cells. The protein amino (N-terminal) flank has a cleavage region (region I), essential for proteolytic processing prior to parasite invasion of liver cells.
Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) is a polymorphic protein that plays a major role in lipid metabolism in the central nervous system and periphery. It has three common allelic isoforms, ApoE2, ApoE3, and ApoE4, that differ in only one or two amino acids. ApoE isoforms have been associated with the occurrence and progression of several pathological conditions, such as coronary atherosclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. The aim of this study was to develop a mass spectrometry (MS)-based assay for absolute quantification of ApoE isoforms in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma samples using isotope-labeled peptides. The assay included five tryptic peptides: CLAVYQAGAR (ApoE2), LGADMEDVCGR (ApoE2 and 3), LAVYQAGAR (ApoE3 and 4), LGADMEDVR (ApoE4), and LGPLVEQGR (total ApoE). Both cerebrospinal fluid and plasma samples were assayed to validate the method. The digestion yield and the extension of chemical modifications in selected amino acid residues (methionine oxidation, glutamine deamidation, and cyclization of N-terminus carbamidomethylcysteine) were also studied. The ApoE phenotype was successfully assigned to all samples analyzed in a blinded manner. The method showed good linearity (R(2) > 0.99) and reproducibility (within laboratory imprecision <13%). The comparison of the MS-based assay with an ELISA for total ApoE concentration showed a moderate correlation (R(2) = 0.59). This MS-based assay can serve as an important tool in clinical studies aiming to elucidate the association between ApoE genotype, total ApoE, and ApoE isoform concentrations in various disorders related to ApoE polymorphisms.
The detection and quantification of insulin and its therapeutic analogs is important for medical, sports doping, and forensic applications. Synthetic variants contain slight sequence variations to affect bioavailability. To reduce sample handling bias, a universal extraction method is required for simultaneous extraction of endogenous and variant insulins with subsequent targeted quantification by LC-MS. A mass spectrometric immunoassay (MSIA), a multiplexed assay for intact insulin and its analogues that couples immunoenrichment with high resolution and accurate mass (HR/AM) spectrometric detection across the clinical range is presented in this report. The assay is sensitive, selective, semi-automated and can potentially be applied to detect new insulin isoforms allowing their further incorporation into second or third generation assays.
Though vaccination with live-attenuated SIV provides the greatest protection from progressive disease caused by SIV challenge in rhesus macaques, attenuated HIV presents safety concerns as a vaccine; therefore, live viral vectors carrying HIV immunogens must be considered. We have designed a replication-competent vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) displaying immunogenic HIV-1 Env trimers and attenuating quantities of the native surface glycoprotein (G). The clade B Env immunogen is an Env-VSV G hybrid (EnvG) in which the transmembrane and cytoplasmic tail regions are derived from G. Relocation of the G gene to the 5'terminus of the genome and insertion of EnvG into the natural G position induced a ?1 log reduction in surface G, significant growth attenuation compared to wild-type, and incorporation of abundant EnvG. Western blot analysis indicated that ?75% of incorporated EnvG was a mature proteolytically processed form. Flow cytometry showed that surface EnvG bound various conformationally- and trimer-specific antibodies (Abs), and in-vitro growth assays on CD4+CCR5+ cells demonstrated EnvG functionality. Neither intranasal (IN) or intramuscular (IM) administration in mice induced any observable pathology and all regimens tested generated potent Env-specific ELISA titers of 10(4)-10(5), with an IM VSV prime/IN VSV boost regimen eliciting the highest binding and neutralizing Ab titers. Significant quantities of Env-specific CD4+ T cells were also detected, which were augmented as much as 70-fold by priming with IM electroporated plasmids encoding EnvG and IL-12. These data suggest that our novel vector can achieve balanced safety and immunogenicity and should be considered as an HIV vaccine platform.
Significant progress has been recently achieved in the development of Plasmodium vivax challenge infections in humans, which are essential for vaccine and drug testing. With the goal of accelerating clinical development of malaria vaccines, the outcome of infections experimentally induced in naïve and semi-immune volunteers by infected mosquito bites was compared.
Protein ?-helical coiled coil structures that elicit antibody responses, which block critical functions of medically important microorganisms, represent a means for vaccine development. By using bioinformatics algorithms, a total of 50 antigens with ?-helical coiled coil motifs orthologous to Plasmodium falciparum were identified in the P. vivax genome. The peptides identified in silico were chemically synthesized; circular dichroism studies indicated partial or high ?-helical content. Antigenicity was evaluated using human sera samples from malaria-endemic areas of Colombia and Papua New Guinea. Eight of these fragments were selected and used to assess immunogenicity in BALB/c mice. ELISA assays indicated strong reactivity of serum samples from individuals residing in malaria-endemic regions and sera of immunized mice, with the ?-helical coiled coil structures. In addition, ex vivo production of IFN-? by murine mononuclear cells confirmed the immunogenicity of these structures and the presence of T-cell epitopes in the peptide sequences. Moreover, sera of mice immunized with four of the eight antigens recognized native proteins on blood-stage P. vivax parasites, and antigenic cross-reactivity with three of the peptides was observed when reacted with both the P. falciparum orthologous fragments and whole parasites. Results here point to the ?-helical coiled coil peptides as possible P. vivax malaria vaccine candidates as were observed for P. falciparum. Fragments selected here warrant further study in humans and non-human primate models to assess their protective efficacy as single components or assembled as hybrid linear epitopes.
Molecular adjuvants are important for augmenting or modulating immune responses induced by DNA vaccination. Promising results have been obtained using IL-12 expression plasmids in a variety of disease models including the SIV model of HIV infection. We used a mouse model to evaluate plasmid IL-12 (pIL-12) in a DNA prime, recombinant adenovirus serotype 5 (rAd5) boost regimen specifically to evaluate the effect of IL-12 expression on cellular and humoral immunity induced against both SIVmac239 Gag and Env antigens. Priming with electroporated (EP) DNA+pIL-12 resulted in a 2-4-fold enhanced frequency of Gag-specific CD4 T cells which was maintained through the end of the study irrespective of the pIL-12 dose, while memory Env-specific CD4+T cells were maintained only at the low dose of pIL-12. There was little positive effect of pIL-12 on the humoral response to Env, and in fact, high dose pIL-12 dramatically reduced SIV Env-specific IgG. Additionally, both doses of pIL-12 diminished the frequency of CD8 T-cells after DNA prime, although a rAd5 boost recovered CD8 responses regardless of the pIL-12 dose. In this prime-boost regimen, we have shown that a high dose pIL-12 can systemically reduce Env-specific humoral responses and CD4T cell frequency, but not Gag-specific CD4+ T cells. These data indicate that it is important to independently characterize individual SIV or HIV antigen immunogenicity in multi-antigenic vaccines as a function of adjuvant dose.
The pathophysiology of the most common joint disease, osteoarthritis (OA), remains poorly understood. Since synovial fluid (SF) bathes joint cartilage and synovium, we reasoned that a comparative analysis of its protein constituents in health and OA could identify pathways involved in joint damage. We undertook this study to perform a proteomic analysis of knee SF from OA patients and control subjects and to compare the results to microarray expression data from cartilage and synovium.
Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) is an important biomarker of human growth disorders that is routinely analyzed in clinical laboratories. Mass spectrometry-based workflows offer a viable alternative to standard IGF1 immunoassays, which utilize various pre-analytical preparation strategies. In this work we developed an assay that incorporates a novel sample preparation method for dissociating IGF1 from its binding proteins. The workflow also includes an immunoaffinity step using antibody-derivatized pipette tips, followed by elution, trypsin digestion, and LC-MS/MS separation and detection of the signature peptides in a selected reaction monitoring (SRM) mode. The resulting quantitative mass spectrometric immunoassay (MSIA) exhibited good linearity in the range of 1 to 1,500 ng/mL IGF1, intra- and inter-assay precision with CVs of less than 10%, and lowest limits of detection of 1 ng/mL. The linearity and recovery characteristics of the assay were also established, and the new method compared to a commercially available immunoassay using a large cohort of human serum samples. The IGF1 SRM MSIA is well suited for use in clinical laboratories.
DNA priming has previously been shown to elicit augmented immune responses when administered by electroporation (EP) or codelivered with a plasmid encoding interleukin-12 (pIL-12). We hypothesized that the efficacy of a DNA prime and recombinant adenovirus 5 boost vaccination regimen (DNA/rAd5) would be improved when incorporating these vaccination strategies into the DNA priming phase, as determined by pathogenic simian immunodeficiency virus SIVmac239 challenge outcome. The whole SIVmac239 proteome was delivered in 5 separate DNA plasmids (pDNA-SIV) by EP with or without pIL-12, followed by boosting 4 months later with corresponding rAd5-SIV vaccine vectors. Remarkably, after repeated low-dose SIVmac239 mucosal challenge, we demonstrate 2.6 and 4.4 log reductions of the median SIV peak and set point viral loads in rhesus macaques (RMs) that received pDNA-SIV by EP with pIL-12 compared to the median peak and set point viral loads in mock-immunized controls (P < 0.01). In 5 out of 6 infected RMs, strong suppression of viremia was observed, with intermittent "blips" in virus replication. In 2 RMs, we could not detect the presence of SIV RNA in tissue and lymph nodes, even after 13 viral challenges. RMs immunized without pIL-12 demonstrated a typical maximum of 1.5 log reduction in virus load. There was no significant difference in the overall magnitude of SIV-specific antibodies or CD8 T-cell responses between groups; however, pDNA delivery by EP with pIL-12 induced a greater magnitude of SIV-specific CD4 T cells that produced multiple cytokines. This vaccine strategy is relevant for existing vaccine candidates entering clinical evaluation, and this model may provide insights into control of retrovirus replication.
The use of internal peptide standards in selected reaction monitoring experiments enables absolute quantitation. Here, we describe three approaches addressing calibration of peptide concentrations in complex matrices and assess their performance in terms of trueness and precision. The simplest approach described is single reference point quantitation where a heavy peptide is spiked into test samples and the endogenous analyte quantified relative to the heavy peptide internal standard. We refer to the second approach as normal curve quantitation. Here, a constant amount of heavy peptide and a varying amount of light peptide are spiked into matrix to construct a calibration curve. This accounts for matrix effects but due to the presence of endogenous analyte, it is usually not possible to determine the lower LOQ. We refer to the third method as reverse curve quantitation. Here, a constant amount of light peptide and a varying amount of heavy peptide are spiked into matrix to construct a calibration curve. Because there is no contribution to the heavy peptide signal from endogenous analyte, it is possible to measure the equivalent of a blank sample and determine LOQ. These approaches are applied to human plasma samples and used to assay peptides of a set of apolipoproteins.
Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is the only FDA-approved medical therapy for acute ischemic stroke. But as a serine peptidase, intravenous tPA can affect the expression of other proteases that may be implicated in blood-brain barrier breakdown. Such parallel cascades of cell signaling may be involved in intracranial hemorrhage, the major side effect of tPA. Here, we describe an initial attempt in proteomic substrate profiling, i.e., degradomics in human plasma within the context of acute stroke. Plasma from acute stroke patients were analyzed pre- and post-intravenous tPA using tandem mass spectrometry and protein array profiling to identify substrates and proteases of interest. In non-tPA-treated stroke plasma, degradomic patterns indicated a rapid induction of protease activity within 3 h of stroke onset that mostly stabilized by 24 h. But in tPA-treated patients, pre- and post-tPA samples from the same patient demonstrated distinct degradomic patterns that persisted even up to 3-5 days after stroke onset. Matching control patients without strokes had little change in degradomic profiles over time. Our findings demonstrate that tPA treatment changes the plasma degradomic profiles in acute stroke patients. These composite proteolytic profiles may provide a glimpse of the pleiotropic effects of tPA on cellular signaling cascades at the bedside. This study supports the feasibility of performing pharmaco-proteomics at the bedside, which may ultimately allow us to dissect mechanisms of thrombolysis-related therapeutic efficacy in stroke.
Aberrant protein glycosylation has been shown to be associated with disease progression and can be potentially useful as a biomarker if disease-specific glycosylation can be identified. However, high-throughput quantitative analysis of protein glycosylation derived from clinical specimens presents technical challenges due to the typically high complexity of biological samples. In this study, a mass spectrometry-based analytical method was developed to measure different glycosylated forms of glycoproteins from complex biological samples by coupling glycopeptide extraction strategy for specific glycosylation with selected reaction monitoring (SRM). Using this method, we monitored glycosylated and sialylated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in prostate cancer and noncancer tissues. Results of this study demonstrated that the relative abundance of glycosylated PSA isoforms were not correlated with total PSA protein levels measured in the same prostate cancer tissue samples by clinical immunoassay. Furthermore, the sialylated PSA was differentially distributed in cancer and noncancer tissues. These data suggest that differently glycosylated isoforms of glycoproteins can be quantitatively analyzed and may provide unique information for clinically relevant studies.
Lung cancer, COPD and cardiovascular diseases are highlighted as some of the most common disease that cause mortality, and for that reason are the most active areas for drug development. This perspective paper overviews the urgent need to develop a health care system for a rapidly growing patient population in Japan, including forthcoming demands on clinical care, expecting outcomes, and economics. There is an increasing requirement to build on the strengths of the current health care system, thereby delivering urgent solutions for the future. There is also a declaration from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), to develop new biomarker diagnostics, which is intended for patient stratification, aiding in diagnostic phenotype selection for responders to drug treatment of Japanese patients. This perspective was written by the panel in order to introduce novel technologies and diagnostic capabilities with successful implementation. The next generation of personalized drugs for targeted and stratified patient treatment will soon be available in major disease areas such as, lifestyle-related cancers, especially lung cancers with the highest mortality including a predisposing disorder chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases. Mass spectrometric technologies can provide the "phenotypic fingerprint" required for the concept of Personalized Medicine. Mass spectrometry-driven target biomarker diagnoses in combination with high resolution computed tomography can provide a critical pathway initiative facilitated by a fully integrated e-Health infrastructure system. We strongly recommend integrating validated biomarkers based on clinical proteomics, medical imaging with clinical care supported by e-Health model to support personalized treatment paradigms to reduce mortality and healthcare costs of chronic and co-morbid diseases in the elderly population of Japan.
The accurate diagnosis of Trisomy 21 requires invasive procedures that carry a risk of miscarriage. The current state-of-the-art maternal serum screening tests measure levels of PAPP-A, free bhCG, AFP, and uE3 in various combinations with a maximum sensitivity of 60-75% and a false positive rate of 5%. There is currently an unmet need for noninvasive screening tests with high selectivity that can detect pregnancies at risk, preferably within the first trimester. The aim of this study was to apply proteomics and mass spectrometry techniques for the discovery of new putative biomarkers for Trisomy 21 in first trimester maternal serum coupled with the immediate development of quantitative selective reaction monitoring (SRM) assays. The results of the novel workflow were 2-fold: (1) we identified a list of differentially expressed proteins in Trisomy 21 vs Normal samples, including PAPP-A, and (2) we developed a multiplexed, high-throughput SRM assay for verification of 12 new putative markers identified in the discovery experiments. To narrow down the initial large list of differentially expressed candidates resulting from the discovery experiments, we incorporated receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve algorithms early in the data analysis process. We believe this approach provides a substantial advantage in sifting through the large and complex data typically obtained from discovery experiments. The workflow efficiently mined information derived from high-resolution LC-MS/MS discovery data for the seamless construction of rapid, targeted assays that were performed on unfractionated serum digests. The SRM assay lower limit of detection (LLOD) for the target peptides in a background of digested serum matrix was approximately 250-500 attomoles on column and the limit of accurate quantitation (LOQ) was approximately 1-5 femtomoles on column. The assay error as determined by coefficient of variation at LOQ and above ranged from 0 to 16%. The workflow developed in this study bridges the gap between proteomic biomarker discovery and translation into a clinical research environment. Specifically, for Trisomy 21, the described multiplexed SRM assay provides a vehicle for high-throughput verification of these, and potentially other, peptide candidates on larger sample cohorts.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) requires the ESX1 specialized protein secretion system for virulence, for triggering cytosolic immune surveillance pathways, and for priming an optimal CD8+ T cell response. This suggests that ESX1 might act primarily by destabilizing the phagosomal membrane that surrounds the bacterium. However, identifying the primary function of the ESX1 system has been difficult because deletion of any substrate inhibits the secretion of all known substrates, thereby abolishing all ESX1 activity. Here we demonstrate that the ESX1 substrate EspA forms a disulfide bonded homodimer after secretion. By disrupting EspA disulfide bond formation, we have dissociated virulence from other known ESX1-mediated activities. Inhibition of EspA disulfide bond formation does not inhibit ESX1 secretion, ESX1-dependent stimulation of the cytosolic pattern receptors in the infected macrophage or the ability of Mtb to prime an adaptive immune response to ESX1 substrates. However, blocking EspA disulfide bond formation severely attenuates the ability of Mtb to survive and cause disease in mice. Strikingly, we show that inhibition of EspA disulfide bond formation also significantly compromises the stability of the mycobacterial cell wall, as does deletion of the ESX1 locus or individual components of the ESX1 system. Thus, we demonstrate that EspA is a major determinant of ESX1-mediated virulence independent of its function in ESX1 secretion. We propose that ESX1 and EspA play central roles in the virulence of Mtb in vivo because they alter the integrity of the mycobacterial cell wall.
Solanum nudum Dunal (Solanaceae) is a plant used in traditional medicine in Colombian Pacific Coast, from which five steroids denominated SNs have been isolated. The SNs compounds have antiplasmodial activity against asexual blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum strain 7G8 with an IC(50) between 20-87microM. However, their mode of action is unknown. Steroids regulate important cellular functions including cell growth, differentiation and death. Thus, the aim of this work was to determine the effects of S. nudum compounds on P. falciparum asexual blood stages and their association with cell death. We found that trophozoite and schizont stages were the most sensitive to SNs. By Giemsa-stained smears, induction of crisis forms was observed. Transmission electron microscopy of treated parasites showed morphological abnormalities such as a cytoplasm rich in vesicles and myelinic figures. The Mitochondria presented no morphological alterations and the nuclei showed no abnormal chromatin condensation. By the use of S. nudum compounds, cell death in P. falciparum was evident by a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential, DNA fragmentation and cytoplasmic acidification. The asexual blood stages of P. falciparum showed some apoptotic-like and autophagic-like cell death characteristics induced by SNs treatment.
Recently, genome-wide association studies have implicated the human LIN28B locus in regulating height and the timing of menarche. LIN28B and its homolog LIN28A are functionally redundant RNA-binding proteins that block biogenesis of let-7 microRNAs. lin-28 and let-7 were discovered in Caenorhabditis elegans as heterochronic regulators of larval and vulval development but have recently been implicated in cancer, stem cell aging and pluripotency. The let-7 targets Myc, Kras, Igf2bp1 and Hmga2 are known regulators of mammalian body size and metabolism. To explore the function of the Lin28-Let-7 pathway in vivo, we engineered transgenic mice to express Lin28a and observed in them increased body size, crown-rump length and delayed onset of puberty. Investigation of metabolic and endocrine mechanisms of overgrowth in these transgenic mice revealed increased glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Here we report a mouse that models the human phenotypes associated with genetic variation in the Lin28-Let-7 pathway.
Whether insulin or IGFs regulate glycogen synthesis in the fetal liver remains to be determined. In this study, we used several knockout mouse strains, including those lacking Pdx-1 (pancreatic duodenal homeobox-1), Insr (insulin receptor), and Igf2 (IGF-II) to determine the role of these genes in the regulation of fetal hepatic glycogen synthesis. Our data show that insulin deficiency does not alter hepatic glycogen stores, whereas Insr and Igf2 deficiency do. We found that both insulin receptor isoforms (IR-A and IR-B) are present in the fetal liver, and their expression is gestationally regulated. IR-B is highly expressed in the fetal liver; nonetheless, the percentage of hepatic IR-A isoform, which binds Igf2, was significantly higher in the fetus than the adult. In vitro experiments demonstrate that Igf2 increases phosphorylation of hepatic Insr, insulin receptor substrate-2, and Akt proteins and also the activity of glycogen synthase. Igf2 ultimately increased glycogen synthesis in fetal hepatocytes. This increase could be blocked by the phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitor LY294008. Taken together, we propose Igf2 as a major regulator of fetal hepatic glycogen metabolism, the insulin receptor as its target receptor, and phosphoinositide 3-kinase as the signaling pathway leading to glycogen formation in the fetal liver.
Parathyroid hormone (PTH) assays able to distinguish between full-length PTH (PTH1-84) and N-terminally truncated PTH (PTH7-84) are of increasing significance in the accurate diagnosis of endocrine and osteological diseases. We describe the discovery of new N-terminal and C-terminal PTH variants and the development of selected reaction monitoring (SRM)-based immunoassays specifically designed for the detection of full-length PTH [amino acid (aa)1-84] and 2 N-terminal variants, aa7-84 and aa34-84.
The search for therapeutic targets to prevent neurons from dying is ongoing and involves the exploration of a long list of neurotrophic factors. Insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) is a member of the insulin family with known neurotrophic properties. In this study, we used Igf2 knockout (Igf2) neonate mice to determine whether Igf2 deficiency is detrimental to motor neuron survival after axonal injury. Results show that Igf2 neonatal mice are more susceptible to motor neuron damage than Igf2 mice, as they have a significantly lower percentage of motor neuron survival after a sciatic nerve transection. Neuronal survival was significantly improved in Igf2 mice when IGF2 was administered. These results support the role of IGF2 in neonatal motor neuron survival.
Steroids from Solanum nudum (SNs) have demonstrated antiplasmodial activity against erythrocytic stages of the Plasmodium falciparum strain FCB-2. It is well known that steroids can alter the membrane function of erythrocytes. Thus, we assessed alterations in the membranes of uninfected red blood cells, the parasite invasiveness and the solute-induced lysis of parasitised red blood cells (pRBCs). induced by SNs. We found that most merozoites were unable to invade SN-treated erythrocytes. However, transmission electron microscopy revealed no effect on the morphology of uninfected erythrocytes treated with either SN2 or diosgenone and neither SN induced haemolysis of uninfected erythrocytes. SN2 and SN4 inhibited isosmotic sorbitol and alanine-induced haemolysis of pRBCs. In contrast, diosgenone and SN1 did not inhibit solute-induced haemolysis. The inhibition of solute-induced lysis of parasitised erythrocytes by SN2 and SN4 suggest an action of these SNs on new permeability pathways of pRBCs.
The function of glycogen in the placenta remains controversial. Whether it is used as a source of fuel for placental consumption or by the fetus in times of need has yet to be determined. Two imprinted genes, insulin-like growth factor 2 (Igf2) and H19 are highly expressed in the placenta. We have previously demonstrated that mice with Igf2 deficiency have lower levels of placental glycogen. In this study, we used mice with targeted disruption of the H19 gene (H19(-/-)) to determine the importance of Igf2 over-expression in placental growth and glycogen stores. In addition, since Igf2 mediates most of its functions by signaling through the insulin and/or IGF Type 1 receptors, we determined whether gene deletions to these receptors could affect placental glycogen stores. Our data demonstrate that placentas from H19(-/-) mice are heavier, have higher number of glycogen cells, and contain larger glycogen concentrations than those of H19(+/+) mice. No differences in GSK-3, ERK, or total Akt expression or phosphorylation were found between genotypes; however, Akt1 protein expression levels were significantly increased in H19(-/-) placentas. Results obtained from insulin receptor or IGF Type 1 receptor mutant mice did not show differences in placental glycogen content compared to their wild-type littermates, supporting the notion of a specific placental Igf2 receptor. Taken together, these results support a role for Igf2 and Akt1, but not the insulin nor the IGF Type 1 receptors, in the regulation of placental growth and glycogen metabolism.
Cellular senescence is associated with global chromatin changes, altered gene expression, and activation of chronic DNA damage signaling. These events ultimately lead to morphological and physiological transformations in primary cells. In this study, we show that chronic DNA damage signals caused by genotoxic stress impact the expression of histones H2A family members and lead to their depletion in the nuclei of senescent human fibroblasts. Our data reinforce the hypothesis that progressive chromatin destabilization may lead to the loss of epigenetic information and impaired cellular function associated with chronic DNA damage upon drug-evoked senescence. We propose that changes in the histone biosynthesis and chromatin assembly may directly contribute to cellular aging. In addition, we also outline the method that allows for quantitative and unbiased measurement of these changes.
While neurovascular diseases such as ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke are the leading causes of disability in the world, the repertoire of therapeutic interventions has remained remarkably limited. There is a dire need to develop new diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic options. The study of proteomics is particularly enticing for cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke, which most likely involve multiple gene interactions resulting in a wide range of clinical phenotypes. Currently, rapidly progressing neuroproteomic techniques have been employed in clinical and translational research to help identify biologically relevant pathways, to understand cerebrovascular pathophysiology, and to develop novel therapeutics and diagnostics. Future integration of proteomic with genomic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic studies will add new perspectives to better understand the complexities of neurovascular injury. Here, we review cerebrovascular proteomics research in both preclinical (animal, cell culture) and clinical (blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, microdialyates, tissue) studies. We will also discuss the rewards, challenges, and future directions for the application of proteomics technology to the study of various disease phenotypes. To capture the dynamic range of cerebrovascular injury and repair with a translational targeted and discovery approach, we emphasize the importance of complementing innovative proteomic technology with existing molecular biology models in preclinical studies, and the need to advance pharmacoproteomics to directly probe clinical physiology and gauge therapeutic efficacy at the bedside.
Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is highly prevalent and associated with more than 150,000 strokes per year. Traditionally, it is thought that PFOs facilitate strokes by allowing venous clots to travel directly to the brain. However, only a small portion of PFO stroke patients have a known tendency to form blood clots, and the optimal treatment for this multiorgan disease is unclear. Therefore, mapping the changes in systemic circulation of PFO-related stroke is crucial in understanding the pathophysiology to individualize the best clinical treatment for each patient. We initiated a study using a novel quantitative, 2-pass discovery workflow using high-resolution liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry coupled with label-free analysis to track protein expression in PFO patients before and after endovascular closure of the PFO. Using this approach, we were able to demonstrate quantitative differences in protein expression between both PFO-related and non-PFO-related ischemic stroke groups as well as before and after PFO closure. As an initial step in understanding the molecular landscape of PFO-related physiology, our methods have yielded biologically relevant information on the synergistic and functional redundancy of various cell-signaling molecules with respect to PFO circulatory physiology. The resulting protein expression patterns were related to canonical pathways including prothrombin activation, atherosclerosis signaling, acute-phase response, LXR/RXR activation, and coagulation system. In particular, after PFO closure, numerous proteins demonstrated reduced expression in stroke-related canonical pathways such as acute inflammatory response and coagulation signaling. These findings demonstrate the feasibility and robustness of using a proteomic approach for biomarker discovery to help gauge therapeutic efficacy in stroke.
Studies of Plasmodium falciparum invasion pathways in field isolates have been limited. Red blood cell (RBC) invasion is a complex process involving two invasion protein families; Erythrocyte Binding-Like (EBL) and the Reticulocyte Binding-Like (PfRh) proteins, which are polymorphic and not fully characterized in field isolates. To determine the various P. falciparum invasion pathways used by parasite isolates from South America, we studied the invasion phenotypes in three regions: Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Additionally, polymorphisms in three members of the EBL (EBA-181, EBA-175 and EBL-1) and five members of the PfRh (PfRh1, PfRh2a, PfRh2b, PfRh4, PfRh5) families were determined. We found that most P. falciparum field isolates from Colombia and Peru invade RBCs through an atypical invasion pathway phenotypically characterized as resistant to all enzyme treatments (NrTrCr). Moreover, the invasion pathways and the ligand polymorphisms differed substantially among the Colombian and Brazilian isolates while the Peruvian isolates represent an amalgam of those present in the Colombian and Brazilian field isolates. The NrTrCr invasion profile was associated with the presence of the PfRh2a pepC variant, the PfRh5 variant 1 and EBA-181 RVNKN variant. The ebl and Pfrh expression levels in a field isolate displaying the NrTrCr profile also pointed to PfRh2a, PfRh5 and EBA-181 as being possibly the major players in this invasion pathway. Notably, our studies demonstrate the uniqueness of the Peruvian P. falciparum field isolates in terms of their invasion profiles and ligand polymorphisms, and present a unique opportunity for studying the ability of P. falciparum parasites to expand their invasion repertoire after being reintroduced to human populations. The present study is directly relevant to asexual blood stage vaccine design focused on invasion pathway proteins, suggesting that regional invasion variants and global geographical variation are likely to preclude a simple one size fits all type of vaccine.
Erythrocyte invasion by Plasmodium falciparum is a complex process that involves two families; Erythrocyte Binding-Like (EBL) and the Reticulocyte Binding-Like (PfRh) proteins. Antibodies that inhibit merozoite attachment and invasion are believed to be important in mediating naturally acquired immunity and immunity generated by parasite blood stage vaccine candidates. The hypotheses tested in this study were 1) that antibody responses against specific P. falciparum invasion ligands (EBL and PfRh) differ between symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals living in the low-transmission region of the Peruvian Amazon and 2), such antibody responses might have an association, either direct or indirect, with clinical immunity observed in asymptomatically parasitaemic individuals.
Recent analyses suggest that transposable element-derived transcripts are processed to yield a variety of small RNA species that play critical functional roles in gene regulation and chromatin organization as well as genome stability and maintenance. Here we report a mass spectrometry analysis of an RNA-affinity complex isolation using a piRNA homologous sequence derived from Alu retrotransposal RNA. Our data point to potential roles for piALU RNAs in DNA repair, cell cycle and chromatin regulations.
Over the past few years, mass spectrometry has emerged as a technology to complement and potentially replace standard immunoassays in routine clinical core laboratories. Application of mass spectrometry to protein and peptide measurement can provide advantages including high sensitivity, the ability to multiplex analytes, and high specificity at the amino acid sequence level. In our previous study, we demonstrated excellent reproducibility of mass spectrometry-selective reaction monitoring (MS-SRM) assays when applying standardized standard operating procedures (SOPs) to measure synthetic peptides in a complex sample, as lack of reproducibility has been a frequent criticism leveled at the use of mass spectrometers in the clinical laboratory compared to immunoassays. Furthermore, an important caveat of SRM-based assays for proteins is that many low-abundance analytes require some type of enrichment before detection with MS. This adds a level of complexity to the procedure and the potential for irreproducibility increases, especially across different laboratories with different operators. The purpose of this study was to test the interlaboratory reproducibility of SRM assays with various upfront enrichment strategies and different types of clinical samples (representing real-world body fluids commonly encountered in routine clinical laboratories). Three different, previously published enrichment strategies for low-abundance analytes and a no-enrichment strategy for high-abundance analytes were tested across four different laboratories using different liquid chromatography-SRM (LC-SRM) platforms and previously developed SOPs. The results demonstrated that these assays were indeed reproducible with coefficients of variation of less than 30% for the measurement of important clinical proteins across all four laboratories in real world samples.
Typically, apolipoproteins are individually measured in blood by immunoassay. In this report, we describe the development of a multiplexed selected reaction monitoring (SRM) based assay for a panel of apolipoproteins and its application to a clinical cohort of samples derived from acute stroke patients.
Military deployment poses many risks for cognitive functioning. When deployed individuals are compared to a nondeployed control group, there is some evidence that deployment may be associated with declines in cognitive functioning. The current study examined cognitive performance before and following deployment in a large sample of active duty military personnel (N = 8002) who reported no traumatic brain injury (TBI). Cognition was assessed using the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics version 4 TBI Military (ANAM4 TBI-MIL) battery, a computer-based battery of tests measuring attention, processing speed, and general cognitive efficiency. Pre- and postdeployment scores were compared using repeated measures analyses. Although statistically significant differences were observed for all tests (with 5 of 7 tests demonstrating performance improvement), effect sizes were very small for all but 1 test, indicating that performance differences had minimal clinical significance. Likewise, determination of change for individuals using reliable change indices revealed that a very small percentage (<3%) of this presumed healthy sample showed meaningful decline in cognition following deployment. Analyses indicated that despite risks for cognitive decline while in theater, deployment had minimal to no lasting effect on cognition as measured by ANAM4 TBI-Mil upon return from deployment.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has received much attention due to high rates of this injury in Service Members returning from the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts. This study examined cognitive performance in Service Members tested with ANAM prior to and following deployment. The sample was divided into a control group (n=400) reporting no TBI injury prior to or during most recent deployment, and a group who self-reported a TBI injury (n=502) during most recent deployment. This latter group was divided further based on self-report of post-concussion symptoms at post-deployment testing. All three groups performed similarly at pre-deployment. The group reporting TBI with active symptoms performed worst at post-deployment and included the highest percentage of individuals showing significant decline in cognitive performance over time (30.5%). A small sample of symptomatic individuals with a non-TBI reported injury did not demonstrate similar declines in performance, suggesting that active symptoms alone cannot account for these findings. Of those reporting a TBI injury during deployment, 70% demonstrated no significant change in cognitive performance compared with baseline. Although the exact etiology of observed declines is uncertain, findings indicate that individuals who self-report TBI during deployment with active symptomatology at post-deployment are at greatest risk for declines in cognitive performance. These individuals can be identified using self-report and brief computer-based testing. Importantly, the majority of active-duty individuals reporting TBI during deployment do not present with lasting significant cognitive impairment, a finding consistent with the civilian literature on mild TBI.
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