Sampling the N-terminal proteome of human blood

Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.67). 02/2010; 107(10):4561-6. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0914495107
Source: PubMed


The proteomes of blood plasma and serum represent a potential gold mine of biological and diagnostic information, but challenges such as dynamic range of protein concentration have hampered efforts to unlock this resource. Here we present a method to label and isolate N-terminal peptides from human plasma and serum. This process dramatically reduces the complexity of the sample by eliminating internal peptides. We identify 772 unique N-terminal peptides in 222 proteins, ranging over six orders of magnitude in abundance. This approach is highly suited for studying natural proteolysis in plasma and serum. We find internal cleavages in plasma proteins created by endo- and exopeptidases, providing information about the activities of proteolytic enzymes in blood, which may be correlated with disease states. We also find signatures of signal peptide cleavage, coagulation and complement activation, and other known proteolytic processes, in addition to a large number of cleavages that have not been reported previously, including over 200 cleavages of blood proteins by aminopeptidases. Finally, we can identify substrates from specific proteases by exogenous addition of the protease combined with N-terminal isolation and quantitative mass spectrometry. In this way we identified proteins cleaved in human plasma by membrane-type serine protease 1, an enzyme linked to cancer progression. These studies demonstrate the utility of direct N-terminal labeling by subtiligase to identify and characterize endogenous and exogenous proteolysis in human plasma and serum.

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    • "Nevertheless, the study did not identify any notable differences in mean analyte levels between EDTA plasma and P100 plasma, despite the presence of protease inhibitors in the P100 blood collection tubes. These results are similar to the findings of others using mass spectroscopy and multiplex ELISA methods [18-20]. Enzymatic degradation has been reported to occur during blood collection and processing [5,21]; protease inhibitors have stabilized the proteome in some studies [22]. "
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    ABSTRACT: As a part of the longitudinal Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) study, Subpopulations and Intermediate Outcome Measures in COPD study (SPIROMICS), blood samples are being collected from 3200 subjects with the goal of identifying blood biomarkers for sub-phenotyping patients and predicting disease progression. To determine the most reliable sample type for measuring specific blood analytes in the cohort, a pilot study was performed from a subset of 24 subjects comparing serum, Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) plasma, and EDTA plasma with proteinase inhibitors (P100TM). 105 analytes, chosen for potential relevance to COPD, arranged in 12 multiplex and one simplex platform (Myriad-RBM) were evaluated in duplicate from the three sample types from 24 subjects. The reliability coefficient and the coefficient of variation (CV) were calculated. The performance of each analyte and mean analyte levels were evaluated across sample types. 20% of analytes were not consistently detectable in any sample type. Higher reliability and/or smaller CV were determined for 12 analytes in EDTA plasma compared to serum, and for 11 analytes in serum compared to EDTA plasma. While reliability measures were similar for EDTA plasma and P100 plasma for a majority of analytes, CV was modestly increased in P100 plasma for eight analytes. Each analyte within a multiplex produced independent measurement characteristics, complicating selection of sample type for individual multiplexes. There were notable detectability and measurability differences between serum and plasma. Multiplexing may not be ideal if large reliability differences exist across analytes measured within the multiplex, especially if values differ based on sample type. For some analytes, the large CV should be considered during experimental design, and the use of duplicate and/or triplicate samples may be necessary. These results should prove useful for studies evaluating selection of samples for evaluation of potential blood biomarkers.
    Journal of Translational Medicine 01/2014; 12(1):9. DOI:10.1186/1479-5876-12-9 · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    • "UniProt gene identifiers for homologous human genes were obtained for each unique, differentially expressed black bear protein (n = 15) that was identified by MS/MS. A list of the N-terminal serum proteome of human blood (n = 213) was used as the background total gene list [27] because similar data does not exist for the American black bear. The enrichment of each GO category was calculated as the proportion of changed to total proteins for each category. "
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    ABSTRACT: Hibernation is an adaptation to conserve energy in the face of extreme environmental conditions and low food availability that has risen in several animal phyla. This phenomenon is characterized by reduced metabolic rate (∼25% of the active basal metabolic rate in hibernating bears) and energy demand, while other physiological adjustments are far from clear. The profiling of the serum proteome of the American black bear (Ursus americanus) may reveal specific proteins that are differentially modulated by hibernation, and provide insight into the remarkable physiological adaptations that characterize ursid hibernation. In this study, we used differential gel electrophoresis (DIGE) analysis, liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry, and subsequent MASCOT analysis of the mass spectra to identify candidate proteins that are differentially expressed during hibernation in captive black bears. Seventy serum proteins were identified as changing by ±1.5 fold or more, out of which 34 proteins increased expression during hibernation. The majority of identified proteins are involved in immune system processes. These included α2-macroglobulin, complement components C1s and C4, immunoglobulin μ and J chains, clusterin, haptoglobin, C4b binding protein, kininogen 1, α2-HS-glycoprotein, and apoplipoproteins A-I and A-IV. Differential expression of a subset of these proteins identified by proteomic analysis was also confirmed by immunodetection. We propose that the observed serum protein changes contribute to the maintenance of the hibernation phenotype and health, including increased capacities for bone maintenance and wound healing during hibernation in bears.
    PLoS ONE 06/2013; 8(6):e66119. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0066119 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "One major challenge of functional protease profiling is the appropriate selection of exogenous reporter peptides, which are exclusively cleaved by tumor-associated proteases. However, serum is a difficult matrix with high intrinsic proteolytic activity caused by different endoproteases e.g. from the coagulation cascade and the complement system [14,31,32] as well as a multitude of exoproteases [33]. Furthermore, the proteolytic profile in blood specimens is not only altered in malignant disease but also under non-malignant conditions e.g. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The progression of many solid tumors is characterized by the release of tumor-associated proteases and the detection of tumor specific proteolytic activity in serum specimens is a promising diagnostic tool in oncology. Here we describe a mass spectrometry-based functional proteomic profiling approach that tracks the ex-vivo degradation of a synthetic endoprotease substrate in serum specimens of colorectal tumor patients. Methods A reporter peptide (RP) with the amino acid sequence WKPYDAAD was synthesized that has a known cleavage site for the cysteine-endopeptidase cancer procoagulant (EC The RP was added to serum specimens from colorectal cancer patients (n = 30), inflammatory controls (n = 30) and healthy controls (n = 30) and incubated under strictly standardized conditions. The proteolytic fragment of the RP was quantified with liquid chromatography / mass spectrometry (LC/MS). Results RP-spiking showed good intra- and inter-day reproducibility with coefficients of variation (CVs) that did not exceed a value of 10%. The calibration curve for the anchor peptide was linear in the concentration range of 0.4 – 50 μmol/L. The median concentration of the RP-fragment in serum specimens from tumor patients (TU: 17.6 μmol/L, SD 9.0) was significantly higher when compared to non-malignant inflammatory controls (IC: 11.1 μmol/L, SD 6.1) and healthy controls (HC: 10.3 μmol/L, SD 3.1). Highest area under receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) values were seen for discrimination of TU versus HC (0.89) followed by TU versus IC (0.77). IC and HC could barely be separated indicated by an AUROC value of 0.57. The proteolytic activity towards the RP was conserved in serum specimens that were kept at room temperature for up to 24 hours prior to the analysis. Conclusion The proteolytic cleavage of reporter peptides is a surrogate marker for tumor associated proteolytic activity in serum specimens of cancer patients. A simple, robust and highly reproducible LC/MS method has been developed that allows the quantification of proteolytic fragments in serum specimens. The preanalytical impact of sample handling is minimal as the tumor-associated proteolytic activity towards the reporter peptide is stable for at least up to 24 h. Taken together, the functional protease profiling shows characteristics that are in line with routinely performed diagnostic assays. Further work will focus on the identification of additional reporter peptides for the construction of a multiplex assay to increase diagnostic accuracy of the functional protease profiling.
    Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 06/2012; 31(1):56. DOI:10.1186/1756-9966-31-56 · 4.43 Impact Factor
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