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Open Access Research

Two-dimensional gel proteome reference map of human small intestine

Maria Paola Simula1, Renato Cannizzaro2, Maria Dolores Marin1, Alessandro Pavan1, Giuseppe Toffoli1, Vincenzo Canzonieri3 and Valli De Re1*

Author Affiliations

1 Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, CRO Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, IRCCS National Cancer Institute, via F. Gallini 2, 33081 Aviano, PN, Italy

2 Gastroenterology, CRO Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, IRCCS National Cancer Institute, via F. Gallini 2, 33081 AVIANO, PN, Italy

3 Pathology, CRO Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, IRCCS National Cancer Institute, via F. Gallini 2, 33081 AVIANO, PN, Italy

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Proteome Science 2009, 7:10  doi:10.1186/1477-5956-7-10

Published: 19 March 2009

Abstract

Background

The small intestine is an important human organ that plays a central role in many physiological functions including digestion, absorption, secretion and defense. Duodenal pathologies include, for instance, the ulcer associated to Helicobacter Pylori infection, adenoma and, in genetically predisposed individuals, celiac disease. Alterations in the bowel reduce its capability to absorb nutrients, minerals and fat-soluble vitamins. Anemia and osteopenia or osteoporosis may develop as a consequence of vitamins malabsorption. Adenoma is a benign tumor that has the potential to become cancerous. Adult celiac disease patients present an overall risk of cancer that is almost twice than that found in the general population. These disease processes are not completely known.

To date, a two dimensional (2D) reference map of proteins expressed in human duodenal tissue is not yet available: the aim of our study was to characterize the 2D protein map, and to identify proteins of duodenal mucosa of adult individuals without duodenal illness, to create a protein database. This approach, may be useful for comparing similar protein samples in different laboratories and for the molecular characterization of intestinal pathologies without recurring to the use of surgical material.

Results

The enrolled population comprised five selected samples (3 males and 2 females, aged 19 to 42), taken from 20 adult subjects, on their first visit at the gastroenterology unit for a suspected celiac disease, who did not turn to be affected by any duodenal pathology after gastrointestinal and histological evaluations. Proteins extracted from the five duodenal mucosal specimens were singly separated by 2D gel electrophoresis. After image analysis of each 2D gel, 179 protein spots, representing 145 unique proteins, from 218 spots tested, were successfully identified by MALDI-TOF ms analysis. Normalized volumes, for each protein, have been reported for every gel. Proteins have been grouped according to their biological/metabolic functions.

Conclusion

This study represents to date the first detailed and reproducible 2D protein map of human duodenum. Spots identifications, reported in a database, will be helpful to identify the variability in protein expression levels, in isoforms expression, or in post-translational modifications associated to pathology or to a therapy.