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J Biol Chem. 2001 May 25;276(21):17920-31. Epub 2001 Mar 8.

Profiling changes in gene expression during differentiation and maturation of monocyte-derived dendritic cells using both oligonucleotide microarrays and proteomics.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0666, USA.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are antigen-presenting cells that play a major role in initiating primary immune responses. We have utilized two independent approaches, DNA microarrays and proteomics, to analyze the expression profile of human CD14(+) blood monocytes and their derived DCs. Analysis of gene expression changes at the RNA level using oligonucleotide microarrays complementary to 6300 human genes showed that approximately 40% of the genes were expressed in DCs. A total of 255 genes (4%) were found to be regulated during DC differentiation or maturation. Most of these genes were not previously associated with DCs and included genes encoding secreted proteins as well as genes involved in cell adhesion, signaling, and lipid metabolism. Protein analysis of the same cell populations was done using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. A total of 900 distinct protein spots were included, and 4% of them exhibited quantitative changes during DC differentiation and maturation. Differentially expressed proteins were identified by mass spectrometry and found to represent proteins with Ca(2+) binding, fatty acid binding, or chaperone activities as well as proteins involved in cell motility. In addition, proteomic analysis provided an assessment of post-translational modifications. The chaperone protein, calreticulin, was found to undergo cleavage, yielding a novel form. The combined oligonucleotide microarray and proteomic approaches have uncovered novel genes associated with DC differentiation and maturation and has allowed analysis of post-translational modifications of specific proteins as part of these processes.

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