Investigation and identification of protein carbonylation sites based on position-specific amino acid composition and physicochemical features
The focus of this study was on the assessment of technology that might be of clinical utility in identification, quantification, characterization of carbonylation in human plasma proteins. Carbonylation is widely associated with oxidative stress diseases. Breast cancer patient samples were chosen as a stress positive case based on the fact that oxidative stress has been reported to be elevated in this disease. Measurements of 8-isoprostane in plasma confirmed that breast cancer patients in this study were indeed experiencing significant oxidative stress. Carbonyl groups in proteins from freshly drawn blood were derivatized with biotin hydrazide after which the samples were dialyzed and the biotinylated proteins subsequently selected, digested and labeled with iTRAQ™ heavy isotope coding reagent(s). Four hundred sixty proteins were identified and quantified, 95 of which changed 1.5 fold or more in concentration. Beyond confirming the utility of the analytical method, association of protein carbonylation was examined as well. Nearly one fourth of the selected proteins were of cytoplasmic, nuclear, or membrane origin. Analysis of the data by unbiased knowledge assembly methods indicated the most likely disease associated with the proteins was breast neoplasm. Pathway analysis showed the proteins which changed in carbonylation were strongly associated with Brca1, the breast cancer type-1 susceptibility protein. Pathway analysis indicated the major molecular functions of these proteins are defense, immunity and nucleic acid binding.