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Comparison of two label-free global quantitation methods, APEX and 2D gel electrophoresis, applied to the Shigella dysenteriae proteome

Srilatha Kuntumalla1*, John C Braisted1, Shih-Ting Huang1, Prashanth P Parmar1, David J Clark1, Hamid Alami1, Quanshun Zhang2, Arthur Donohue-Rolfe2, Saul Tzipori2, Robert D Fleischmann1, Scott N Peterson1 and Rembert Pieper1*

Author Affiliations

1 Pathogen Functional Genomics Resource Center, J Craig Venter Institute, 9704 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850, USA

2 Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, 200 Westboro Road, North Grafton, MA 01536, USA

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Proteome Science 2009, 7:22  doi:10.1186/1477-5956-7-22

Published: 29 June 2009


The in vitro stationary phase proteome of the human pathogen Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1 (SD1) was quantitatively analyzed in Coomassie Blue G250 (CBB)-stained 2D gels. More than four hundred and fifty proteins, of which 271 were associated with distinct gel spots, were identified. In parallel, we employed 2D-LC-MS/MS followed by the label-free computationally modified spectral counting method APEX for absolute protein expression measurements. Of the 4502 genome-predicted SD1 proteins, 1148 proteins were identified with a false positive discovery rate of 5% and quantitated using 2D-LC-MS/MS and APEX. The dynamic range of the APEX method was approximately one order of magnitude higher than that of CBB-stained spot intensity quantitation. A squared Pearson correlation analysis revealed a reasonably good correlation (R2 = 0.67) for protein quantities surveyed by both methods. The correlation was decreased for protein subsets with specific physicochemical properties, such as low Mr values and high hydropathy scores. Stoichiometric ratios of subunits of protein complexes characterized in E. coli were compared with APEX quantitative ratios of orthologous SD1 protein complexes. A high correlation was observed for subunits of soluble cellular protein complexes in several cases, demonstrating versatile applications of the APEX method in quantitative proteomics.