ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2008) 16 S5.1

Comparative proteomics as a tool in biology: the protein microscope

Sjoerd van der Post, Joakim Håkansson, Sven Enerbäck & Tommy Nilsson

Department of Medical Genetics, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

We use redundant peptide counting as a tool to compare, quantitatively, data from mass spectrometry analyses. When combined with hierarchical clustering, a tool commonly used for micro array analysis, we can group proteins based on their relative abundance across samples. In this way, we recently completed a spatial map of the secretory pathway of rat hepatic cells comprising some 1400 different proteins, each with a defined distribution (Gilchrist, Au, Hiding et al. 2006 Cell 127 1265–81). Using the same approach, we have now analyzed the secretome of mouse embryonic fibroblasts that were differentiated, in vitro, into adipocytes. By comparing the secretome of such adipocytes taken from mouse knock-in or knock outs of FOXC2, a transcription factor that when over expressed, shifts white adipose tissue towards brown adipose tissue (Cederberg et al. Cell 106 563–73), we have identified several secreted factors that are distinct for each mouse strain. Their relevance to white and brown adipose tissue will be discussed.

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