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J Biomed Biotechnol. 2005;2005(3):271-9.

Proteomic profiling and neurodegeneration in West-Nile-virus-infected neurons.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.


West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne flavivirus, is a human, equine, and avian pathogen. High-resolution two-dimensional differential-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) was used to characterize protein expression in primary rat neurons and to examine the proteomic profiling to understand the pathogenesis of West-Nile-associated meningoencephalitis. Three pH ranges, 3-10, 4-7, and 5-6, were used to analyze the protein spots. The proteins are labeled with fluorescent dyes Cy3 and Cy5 before being separated on the basis of charge and size respectively on a two-dimensional platform. About 55 proteins showed altered expression levels. These were then subsequently digested and identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) analysis using peptide mass fingerprinting and database searching. These cellular proteins could represent distinct roles during infection related to apoptosis. Our findings show that two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis combined with mass spectrometry is a powerful approach that permits the identification of proteins whose expression was altered due to West Nile virus infection.

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