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Proteomics. 2007 Jun;7(11):1757-70.

Toward a better analysis of secreted proteins: the example of the myeloid cells secretome.

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CEA-DSV/DRDC/ICH, Laboratoire d'Immunochimie, CEA-Grenoble, Grenoble, France.


The analysis of secreted proteins represents a challenge for current proteomics techniques. Proteins are usually secreted at low concentrations in the culture media, which makes their recovery difficult. In addition, culture media are rich in salts and other compounds interfering with most proteomics techniques, which makes selective precipitation of proteins almost mandatory for a correct subsequent proteomics analysis. Last but not least, the non-secreted proteins liberated in the culture medium upon lysis of a few dead cells heavily contaminate the so-called secreted proteins preparations. Several techniques have been used in the past for concentration of proteins secreted in culture media. These techniques present several drawbacks, such as coprecipitation of salts or poor yields at low protein concentrations. Improved techniques based on carrier-assisted TCA precipitation are described and discussed in this report. These techniques have been used to analyze the secretome of myeloid cells (macrophages, dendritic cells) and enabled to analyze proteins secreted at concentrations close to 1 ng/mL, thereby allowing the detection of some of the cytokines (TNF, IL-12) secreted by the myeloid cells upon activation by bacterial products.

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