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Exp Eye Res. 1999 Aug;69(2):195-212.

Initiating ocular proteomics for cataloging bovine retinal proteins: microanalytical techniques permit the identification of proteins derived from a novel photoreceptor preparation.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and The NSF EPSCoR Oklahoma Laser Mass Spectrometry Facility, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, P.O. Box 26901, Oklahoma City, OK, 73190, USA.


Though some mechanisms of photoreception have been well characterized, others remain obscure. Presumably, most, if not all, of the major players in photoreceptor-specific functions are present in large amounts in the photoreceptor layer, and a catalog of these proteins will prove a useful tool for vision researchers. As a first step toward a complete catalog of photoreceptor cells, we have developed a novel method for isolating the photoreceptor cell monolayer from bovine retina. Electron microscopic studies of both the photoreceptor layer and the residual retina from which the photoreceptor layer had been removed, indicate that the preparation contains the photoreceptor outer segments and the majority of the inner segments. Proteins were extracted from the isolated photoreceptor cell layer as well as the rest of the retina with isoelectric focusing lysis buffer, and the protein components were separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. The obtained protein maps reveal several classes of proteins that appear to be expressed more abundantly or specifically in the photoreceptor layer than in the rest of the retina. Four of these protein spots were excised and in-gel digested with trypsin, and the digests were extracted with solvent. The mixture of peptides digested from each protein was analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography interfaced with electrospray ionization tandem quadrupole mass spectrometry or by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Some of the peptides were isolated and their sequences were determined by gas phase Edman degradation. RNA transcripts extracted from the photoreceptor layer or the whole retina were subjected to Northern blot analysis as well as to reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction amplification of probes for the successful selection of cDNA clones. These data permit both the identification of virtually any protein detectable on a two-dimensional gel, and also enable the corresponding cDNA clone to be selected. We have validated this approach by identifying aspartate aminotransferase and creatine kinase from the populations of abundant photoreceptor layer proteins. Both aspartate aminotransferase and creatine kinase are of mitochondrial origin and are thought to play crucial roles in photoreceptor functions by producing glutamate and ATP, respectively. We also identified two photoreceptor layer specific proteins: an acidic and high molecular weight protein, interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein, and an acidic and small molecular weight protein, recoverin.The technique presented here will allow vision researchers to discover and identify the proteins that are expressed specifically or abundantly in the photoreceptor cell as well as the proteins that undergo post-translational modification or modulation in expression under a defined biological condition. With the use of this technology, we anticipate that a researcher who knows only the 2-D gel position of a protein of interest can identify the protein, isolate a cDNA clone, and move into molecular genetic studies. Moreover, this streamlined technology will enable one to assemble a catalog of photoreceptor proteins using a minute amount of materials in a short period of time. We believe that such a catalog will serve as a valuable resource for vision investigators and will accelerate the rate of research progress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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