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Protein Sci. 1995 Mar;4(3):394-404.

Isoforms of a cuticular protein from larvae of the meal beetle, Tenebrio molitor, studied by mass spectrometry in combination with Edman degradation and two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Odense University, Denmark.


Simultaneous sequencing, using a combination of mass spectrometry and Edman degradation, of three approximately 15-kDa variants of a cuticular protein extracted from the meal beetle Tenebrio molitor larva is demonstrated. The information obtained by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS) time-course monitoring of enzymatic digests was found essential to identify the differences among the three variants and for alignment of the peptides in the sequence. To determine whether each individual insect larva contains all three protein variants, proteins extracted from single animals were separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, electroeluted from the gel spots, and analyzed by MALDI MS. Molecular weights of the proteins present in each sample could be obtained, and mass spectrometric mapping of the peptides after digestion with trypsin gave additional information. The protein isoforms were found to be allelic variants.

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