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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2011 Sep;10(9):M110.004739. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M110.004739. Epub 2011 May 24.

Quantitative shotgun proteomics using a uniform ¹⁵N-labeled standard to monitor proteome dynamics in time course experiments reveals new insights into the heat stress response of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

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max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie, Am Mühlenberg 1, D-14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany.


Crop-plant-yield safety is jeopardized by temperature stress caused by the global climate change. To take countermeasures by breeding and/or transgenic approaches it is essential to understand the mechanisms underlying plant acclimation to heat stress. To this end proteomics approaches are most promising, as acclimation is largely mediated by proteins. Accordingly, several proteomics studies, mainly based on two-dimensional gel-tandem MS approaches, were conducted in the past. However, results often were inconsistent, presumably attributable to artifacts inherent to the display of complex proteomes via two-dimensional-gels. We describe here a new approach to monitor proteome dynamics in time course experiments. This approach involves full ¹⁵N metabolic labeling and mass spectrometry based quantitative shotgun proteomics using a uniform ¹⁵N standard over all time points. It comprises a software framework, IOMIQS, that features batch job mediated automated peptide identification by four parallelized search engines, peptide quantification and data assembly for the processing of large numbers of samples. We have applied this approach to monitor proteome dynamics in a heat stress time course using the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as model system. We were able to identify 3433 Chlamydomonas proteins, of which 1116 were quantified in at least three of five time points of the time course. Statistical analyses revealed that levels of 38 proteins significantly increased, whereas levels of 206 proteins significantly decreased during heat stress. The increasing proteins comprise 25 (co-)chaperones and 13 proteins involved in chromatin remodeling, signal transduction, apoptosis, photosynthetic light reactions, and yet unknown functions. Proteins decreasing during heat stress were significantly enriched in functional categories that mediate carbon flux from CO₂ and external acetate into protein biosynthesis, which also correlated with a rapid, but fully reversible cell cycle arrest after onset of stress. Our approach opens up new perspectives for plant systems biology and provides novel insights into plant stress acclimation.

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