Now that the human genome is sequenced, University of Notre Dame researchers are focusing on the study of the proteome, which is the protein content of an organism, tissue or cell.
Bioanalytical chemist Norman Dovichi and molecular biologist Paul Huber have successfully tracked the changing patterns of protein expression during early development of Xenopus laevis, or African clawed frog, embryos. They have developed the largest data set on developmental proteomics for any organism, and have included the single-cell zygote.
Their research has uncovered an unexpected amount of discordance between the levels of messenger RNA (mRNA) and its corresponding protein. Their findings are published in Scientific Reports in an article titled, "Quantitative proteomics of Xenopus laevis embryos: expression kinetics of nearly 4000 proteins during early development."
The Notre Dame team based in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Science has identified and measured the levels of about 4,000 proteins, which exhibited patterns of expression that reflect key events during early Xenopus development.
For example, the appearance of organ- and tissue-specific proteins, such as those found exclusively in cardiac muscle cells, accurately reflects imminent anatomical changes taking place in the embryo. The research could lead to insight into congenital birth defects that result from the misregulation of gene expression.
The research also contradicted a widely held assumption that the levels of mRNA, which encodes proteins, would be directly related to protein levels. While that was true in most cases, there were a surprisingly high number of exceptions, demonstrating that the amounts of a particular protein can be controlled by multiple mechanisms.
Because development takes place in well-defined stages outside the mother, Xenopus is a favored model. Embryogenesis can be easily monitored in real time; fate maps for organ development have been determined and major regulators of these processes have been identified and characterized, providing an abundance of tissue- and organ-specific markers to track embryo formation.
Additionally, embryos develop rapidly, achieving a nearly fully developed nervous system within four days. "It's easy to manipulate the embryos to mimic certain disease states, making Xenopus extremely valuable to biologists," Huber said.
"The collaborative, ground-breaking work of Norm Dovichi, Paul Huber and their team is crucial to helping us understand the complexity of life. We are proud of this important milestone," said Greg Crawford, dean of the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame.
Dovichi and Huber co-authored the article with Liangliang Sun, Michelle Bertke, Matthew Champion and Guijie Zhu.
Norm Dovichi | EurekAlert!
Faster detection of pathogens in the lungs
24.06.2016 | Universität Zürich
How yeast cells regulate their fat balance
23.06.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Physicists in Innsbruck have realized the first quantum simulation of lattice gauge theories, building a bridge between high-energy theory and atomic physics. In the journal Nature, Rainer Blatt‘s and Peter Zoller’s research teams describe how they simulated the creation of elementary particle pairs out of the vacuum by using a quantum computer.
Elementary particles are the fundamental buildings blocks of matter, and their properties are described by the Standard Model of particle physics. The...
A year and a half on the outer wall of the International Space Station ISS in altitude of 400 kilometers is a real challenge. Whether a primordial bacterium...
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have developed a way to swiftly and precisely control electron spins at room temperature.
A physics experiment performed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has enhanced scientists' understanding of how free neutrons decay...
Chemically the same, graphite and diamonds are as physically distinct as two minerals can be, one opaque and soft, the other translucent and hard. What makes...
09.06.2016 | Event News
24.05.2016 | Event News
20.05.2016 | Event News
24.06.2016 | Materials Sciences
24.06.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
24.06.2016 | Physics and Astronomy