Suh, M. J., Hamburg, D. M., Gregory, S. T., Dahlberg, A. E., Limbach, P. A.
Extending Ribosomal Protein Identifications to Unsequenced Bacterial Strains Using Matrix-assisted Laser Desorption/ionization Mass Spectrometry
Proteomics. 2005 Dec 01; 5(18): 4818-31.
A protocol has been developed that allows protein identifications using available DNA-based or protein sequences from a reference strain of a bacterial species to be extended to bacterial strains for which no prior DNA-based or protein sequence information exists. The protocol is predicated on careful isolation of a specific sub-cellular group of proteins. In this study, ribosomal proteins were chosen due to their high relative abundance and similarity in copy number per cell. After isolation of ribosomal proteins, MALDI-MS is used to acquire accurate protein molecular weights. An iterative comparison of reference protein molecular weights and identities is made to the resulting data, allowing for the straightforward identification of ribosomal proteins from any non-reference strains. This approach can reveal differences between proteins at the amino acid or post-translational level. The protocol was developed, validated and applied to ribosomal proteins from three strains of the extreme thermophile Thermus thermophilus. This approach revealed that nearly 60% of the ribosomal proteins from all three strains are identical. The extension of protein identification to additional bacterial strains can be useful in phylogenetic studies as well as in biomarker identification.
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