alexa A proteomic approach to characterize protein shedding.


Journal of Membrane Science & Technology

Author(s): Ahram M, Adkins JN, Auberry DL, Wunschel DS, Springer DL

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Abstract Shedding (i.e. proteolysis of ectodomains of membrane proteins) plays an important pathophysiological role. In order to study the feasibility of identifying shed proteins, we analyzed serum-free media of human mammary epithelial cells by mass spectrometry following induction of shedding by the phorbol ester, 4 beta-phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). Different means of sample preparation, including biotinylation of cell surface proteins, isolation of glycosylated proteins, and preparation of crude protein fractions, were carried out to develop the optimal method of sample processing. The collected proteins were digested with trypsin and analyzed by reversed-phase capillary liquid chromatography interfaced to an ion-trap mass spectrometer. The resulting peptide spectra were interpreted using the program SEQUEST. Analyzing the sample containing the crude protein mixture without chemical modification or separation resulted in the greatest number of identifications, including putatively shed proteins. Overall, 45 membrane-associated proteins were identified including 22 that contain at least one transmembrane domain and 23 that indirectly associate with the extracellular surface of the plasma membrane. Of the 22 transmembrane proteins, 18 were identified by extracellular peptides providing strong evidence they originate from regulated proteolysis or shedding processes. We combined results from the different experiments and used a peptide count method to estimate changes in protein abundance. Using this approach, we identified two proteins, syndecan-4 and hepatoma-derived growth factor, whose abundances increased in media of cells treated with PMA. We also detected proteins whose abundances decreased after PMA treatment such as 78 kDa glucose-regulated protein and lactate dehydrogenase A. Further analysis using immunoblotting validated the abundance changes for syndecan-4 and 78 kDa glucose-regulated protein as a result of PMA treatment. These results demonstrate that tandem mass spectrometry can be used to identify shed proteins and to estimate changes in protein abundance. This article was published in Proteomics and referenced in Journal of Membrane Science & Technology

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