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Methods. 2013 Jun 15;61(3):244-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2013.04.009. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

A proteomics workflow for quantitative and time-resolved analysis of adaptation reactions of internalized bacteria.

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Interfaculty Institute of Genetics and Functional Genomics, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University Greifswald, Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Strasse 15a, D-17487 Greifswald, Germany.


The development of a mass spectrometric workflow for the sensitive identification and quantitation of the kinetics of changes in metaproteomes, or in particular bacterial pathogens after internalization by host cells, is described. This procedure employs three essential stages: (i) SILAC pulse-chase labeling and infection assay; (ii) isolation of bacteria by GFP-assisted cell sorting; (iii) mass spectrometry-based proteome analysis. This approach displays greater sensitivity than techniques relying on conventional cell sorting and protein separation, due to an efficient combination of a filtration-based purification and an on-membrane digestion. We exemplary describe the use of the workflow for the identification and quantitation of the proteome of 10⁶ cells of Staphylococcus aureus after internalization by S9 human bronchial epithelial cells. With minor modifications, the workflow described can be applied for the characterization of other host-pathogen pairs, permitting identification and quantitation of hundreds of bacterial proteins over a time range of several hours post infection.

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