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Identification of differentially expressed proteins of Arthrospira (Spirulina) plantensis-YZ under salt-stress conditions by proteomics and qRT-PCR analysis

Huili Wang1*, Yanmei Yang1, Wei Chen1, Li Ding12, Peizhen Li1, Xiaokai Zhao1, Xuedong Wang2, Aiying Li3 and Qiyu Bao1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Biomedical Informatics/Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics, School of Life Sciences, Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou, 325035, China

2 School of Environmental Science and Public Health, Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou, 325035, China

3 College of Life Sciences, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, 450002, China

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Proteome Science 2013, 11:6  doi:10.1186/1477-5956-11-6

Published: 30 January 2013


Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis as a representative species of cyanobacteria has been recognized and used worldwide as a source of protein in the food, which possesses some unusual and valuable physiological characteristics, such as alkali and salt tolerance. Based on complete genome sequencing of Arthrospira (Spirulina) plantensis-YZ, we compared the protein expression profiles of this organism under different salt-stress conditions (i.e. 0.02 M, 0.5 M and 1.0 M NaCl, respectively), using 2-D electrophoresis and peptide mass fingerprinting, and retrieved 141 proteins showing significantly differential expression in response to salt-stress. Of the 141 proteins, 114 Arthrospira (Spirulina) plantensis-YZ proteins were found with significant homology to those found in Arthrospira (76 proteins in Arthrospira platensis str. Paraca and 38 in Arthrospira maxima CS-328). The remaining 27 proteins belong to other bacteria. Subsequently, we determined the transcriptional level of 29 genes in vivo in response to NaCl treatments and verified them by qRT-PCR. We found that 12 genes keep consistency at both transcription and protein levels, and transcription of all of them but one were up-regulated. We classified the 141 differentially expressed proteins into 18 types of function categories using COG database, and linked them to their respective KEGG metabolism pathways. These proteins are involved in 31 metabolism pathways, such as photosynthesis, glucose metabolism, cysteine and methionine metabolism, lysine synthesis, fatty acid metabolism, glutathione metabolism. Additionally, the SRPs, heat shock protein and ABC transporter proteins were identified, which probably render Arthrospira (Spirulina) plantensis’s resistance against high salt stress.

Spirulina plantensis; Arthrospira; Metabolism pathway; Up-regulation; Salt-stress