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Single Amino Acid Variant Discovery in Small Numbers of Cells

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posted on 2018-11-07, 00:00 authored by Zhijing Tan, Xinpei Yi, Nicholas J. Carruthers, Paul M. Stemmer, David M. Lubman
We have performed deep proteomic profiling down to as few as 9 Panc-1 cells using sample fractionation, TMT multiplexing, and a carrier/reference strategy. Off line fractionation of the TMT-labeled sample pooled with TMT-labeled carrier Panc-1 whole cell proteome was achieved using alkaline reversed phase spin columns. The fractionation in conjunction with the carrier/reference (C/R) proteome allowed us to detect 47 414 unique peptides derived from 6261 proteins, which provided a sufficient coverage to search for single amino acid variants (SAAVs) related to cancer. This high sample coverage is essential in order to detect a significant number of SAAVs. In order to verify genuine SAAVs versus false SAAVs, we used the SAVControl pipeline and found a total of 79 SAAVs from the 9-cell Panc-1 sample and 174 SAAVs from the 5000-cell Panc-1 C/R proteome. The SAAVs as sorted into high confidence and low confidence SAAVs were checked manually. All the high confidence SAAVs were found to be genuine SAAVs, while half of the low confidence SAAVs were found to be false SAAVs mainly related to PTMs. We identified several cancer-related SAAVs including KRAS, which is an important oncoprotein in pancreatic cancer. In addition, we were able to detect sites involved in loss or gain of glycosylation due to the enhanced coverage available in these experiments where we can detect both sites of loss and gain of glycosylation.

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    Journal of Proteome Research

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