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Neurochem Int. 2015 Aug;87:1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2015.04.004. Epub 2015 May 6.

SWATH analysis of the synaptic proteome in Alzheimer's disease.

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School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland, Australia.
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland, Australia. Electronic address:


Brain tissue from Alzheimer's disease patients exhibits synaptic degeneration in selected regions. Synaptic dysfunction occurs early in the disease and is a primary pathological target for treatment. The molecular mechanisms underlying this degeneration remain unknown. Quantifying the synaptic proteome in autopsy brain and comparing tissue from Alzheimer's disease cases and subjects with normal aging are critical to understanding the molecular mechanisms associated with Alzheimer pathology. We isolated synaptosomes from hippocampus and motor cortex so as to reduce sample complexity relative to whole-tissue homogenates. Synaptosomal extracts were subjected to strong cation exchange (SCX) fractionation to further partition sample complexity; each fraction received SWATH-based information-dependent acquisition to generate a comprehensive peptide-ion library. The expression of synaptic proteins from AD hippocampus and motor cortex was then compared between groups. A total of 2077 unique proteins were identified at a critical local false discovery rate <5%. Thirty of these, including 17 novel proteins, exhibited significant expression differences between cases and controls; these proteins are involved in cellular functions including structural maintenance, signal transduction, autophagy, oxidative stress, and proteasome activity, or they have synaptic-vesicle related or energy-related functions. Differentially expressed proteins were subjected to pathway analysis to identify protein-protein interactions. This revealed that the most perturbed molecular and cellular functions were cellular assembly and organization. Core analysis revealed RhoA signaling to be the top canonical pathway. Network analysis showed that differentially expressed proteins were related to cellular assembly and organization, and cellular function and maintenance. This is the first study to combine SCX fractionation with SWATH analysis. SWATH is a promising new technique that can greatly enhance protein identification in any proteome, and has many other benefits; however, there are limitations yet to be resolved.


Cellular assembly and organization; Cerebral cortex; HPLC; Human; Pathway analysis; Proteomics

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