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Annu Rev Anal Chem (Palo Alto Calif). 2008;1:71-93. doi: 10.1146/annurev.anchem.1.031207.112838.

Mass spectrometry for rapid characterization of microorganisms.

Author information

  • 1Johns Hopkins University, Laurel, Maryland 20723, USA. plamen.demirev@jhuapl.edu

Abstract

Advances in instrumentation, proteomics, and bioinformatics have contributed to the successful applications of mass spectrometry (MS) for detection, identification, and classification of microorganisms. These MS applications are based on the detection of organism-specific biomarker molecules, which allow differentiation between organisms to be made. Intact proteins, their proteolytic peptides, and nonribosomal peptides have been successfully utilized as biomarkers. Sequence-specific fragments for biomarkers are generated by tandem MS of intact proteins or proteolytic peptides, obtained after, for instance, microwave-assisted acid hydrolysis. In combination with proteome database searching, individual biomarker proteins are unambiguously identified from their tandem mass spectra, and from there the source microorganism is also identified. Such top-down or bottom-up proteomics approaches permit rapid, sensitive, and confident characterization of individual microorganisms in mixtures and are reviewed here. Examples of MS-based functional assays for detection of targeted microorganisms, e.g., Bacillus anthracis, in environmental or clinically relevant backgrounds are also reviewed.

PMID:
20636075
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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