Send to

Choose Destination
Biochemistry. 1998 Feb 17;37(7):2070-6.

Direct mass spectrometric peptide profiling and sequencing of single neurons reveals differential peptide patterns in a small neuronal network.

Author information

Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam, Research Institute Neurosciences Vrije Universiteit, Faculty of Biology, The Netherlands.


Mass spectrometry (MS) was employed to detect and structurally characterize peptides in two functionally related neurons, named VD1 and RPD2, which form a network involved in the modulation of heartbeat in Lymnaea. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization MS, directly applied to single neurons VD1 and RPD2, showed overlapping yet distinct mass profiles, with a subset of putative peptides specifically present in neuron VD1. Direct tandem MS of a single VD1 neuron revealed the primary structures of the VD1-specific peptides, which were identified as members of the family of small cardioactive peptides. Based on the tandem MS data, a degenerate oligonucleotide was made for use in a polymerase chain reaction strategy to isolate the cDNA encoding the precursor to the small cardioactive peptides from a brain-specific cDNA library. The calculated masses of the mature, posttranslationally modified peptides, as predicted from the corresponding cDNA, agreed with the measured masses of the actual peptides, as detected in single-cell MS analysis. In situ hybridization studies showed that the transcript encoding the precursor is present in VD1, but not in RPD2, thus corroborating the single-cell MS analysis. Finally, the small cardioactive peptides were shown to enhance the contractions of the auricle in vitro.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center