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Proteomics with a pinch of salt: A cyanobacterial perspective

Author(s): Pandhal Jagroop | Wright Phillip | Biggs Catherine

Journal: Saline Systems
ISSN 1746-1448

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Abstract Cyanobacteria are ancient life forms and have adapted to a variety of extreme environments, including high salinity. Biochemical, physiological and genetic studies have contributed to uncovering their underlying survival mechanisms, and as recent studies demonstrate, proteomics has the potential to increase our overall understanding further. To date, most salt-related cyanobacterial proteomic studies have utilised gel electrophoresis with the model organism Synechocystis sp. PCC6803. Moreover, focus has been on 2–4% w/v NaCl concentrations within different cellular compartments. Under these conditions, Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 was found to respond and adapt to salt stress through synthesis of general and specific stress proteins, altering the protein composition of extracellular layers, and re-directing control of complex central intermediary pathways. Post-transcriptional control was also predicted through non-correlating transcript level data and identification of protein isoforms. In this paper, we also review technical developments with emphasis on improving the quality and quantity of proteomic data and overcoming the detrimental effects of salt on sample preparation and analysis. Developments in gel-free methods include protein and peptide fractionation workflows, which can increase coverage of the proteome (20% in Synechocystis sp. PCC6803). Quantitative techniques have also improved in accuracy, resulting in confidence in quantitation approaching or even surpassing that seen in transcriptomic techniques (better than 1.5-fold in differential expression). Furthermore, in vivo metabolic labelling and de novo protein sequencing software have improved the ability to apply proteomics to unsequenced environmental isolates. The example used in this review is a cyanobacterium isolated from a Saharan salt lake.
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