A Proteomics Approach to the Protein Normalization Problem: Selection of Unvarying Proteins for MS-Based Proteomics and Western Blotting

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Jacek R Wiśniewski, Matthias Mann

Proteomics and other protein-based analysis methods such as Western blotting all face the challenge of discriminating changes in the levels of proteins of interest from inadvertent changes in the amount loaded for analysis. Mass-spectrometry-based proteomics can now estimate the relative and absolute amounts of thousands of proteins across diverse biological systems. We reasoned that this new technology could prove useful for selection of very stably expressed proteins that could serve as better loading controls than those traditionally employed. Large-scale proteomic analyses of SDS lysates of cultured cells and tissues revealed deglycase DJ-1 as the protein with the lowest variability in abundance among different cell types in human, mouse, and amphibian cells. The protein constitutes 0.069 ± 0.017% of total cellular protein and occurs at a specific concentration of 34.6 ± 8.7 pmol/mg of total protein. Since DJ-1 is ubiquitous and therefore easily detectable with several peptides, it can be helpful in normalization of proteomic data sets. In addition, DJ-1 appears to be an advantageous loading control for Western blot that is superior to those used commonly used, allowing comparisons between tissues and cells originating from evolutionarily distant vertebrate species. Notably, this is not possible by the detection and quantitation of housekeeping proteins, which are often used in the Western blot technique. The approach introduced here can be applied to select the most appropriate loading controls for MS-based proteomics or Western blotting in any biological system.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Volume15
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)2321-6
Number of pages6
ISSN1535-3893
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Animals, Blotting, Western, Genes, Essential, Humans, Mass Spectrometry, Protein Deglycase DJ-1, Proteins, Proteomics, Sample Size, Journal Article

ID: 186876564