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Proteomics. 2005 Aug;5(12):3120-30.

Global detection and characterization of hypothetical proteins in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 using LC-MS based proteomics.

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Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352, USA.


The availability of whole genome sequences has enabled the application of powerful tools for assaying global expression patterns in environmentally relevant bacteria such as Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. A large number of genes in prokaryote genomes, including MR-1, have been annotated as hypothetical, indicating that no similar protein has yet been identified in other organisms. Using high-sensitivity MS coupled with accurate mass and time (AMT) tag methodology, 1078 tryptic peptides were collectively detected in MR-1 cultures, 671 of which were unique to their parent protein. Using only these unique tryptic peptides and a minimum of two peptides per protein, we identified, with high confidence, the expression of 258 hypothetical proteins. These proteins ranged from 3.5 to 139 kDa, with 47 being 100 amino acid residues or less. Using a combination of information including detection in cells grown under specific culture conditions, presence within a specific cell fraction, and predictive algorithms such as PSORT and PSORT-B, possible/plausible functions are proposed for some hypothetical proteins. Further, by applying this approach a number of proteins were found not only to be expressed, but only expressed under certain culturing conditions, thereby suggesting function while at the same time isolating several proteins to distinct locales of the cell. These results demonstrate the utility of the AMT tag methodology for comprehensive profiling of the microbial proteome while confirming the expression of a large number of hypothetical genes.

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