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PLOS ONE  2008 

Exploring Proteins in Anopheles gambiae Male and Female Antennae through MALDI Mass Spectrometry Profiling

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002822

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MALDI profiling and imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) are novel techniques for direct analysis of peptides and small proteins in biological tissues. In this work we applied them to the study of Anopheles gambiae antennae, with the aim of analysing expression of soluble proteins involved in olfaction perireceptor events. MALDI spectra obtained by direct profiling on single antennae and by the analysis of extracts, showed similar profiles, although spectra obtained through profiling had a richer ion population and higher signal to noise ratio. Male and female antennae showed distinct protein profiles. MALDI imaging experiments were also performed and differences were observed in the localization of some proteins. Two proteins were identified through high resolution measurement and top-down MS/MS experiments. A 8 kDa protein only present in the male antennae matched with an unannotated sequence of the An. gambiae genome, while the presence of odorant binding protein 9 (OBP-9) was confirmed through experiments of 2-DE, followed by MS and MS/MS analysis of digested spots. This work shows that MALDI MS profiling is a technique suitable for the analysis of proteins of small and medium MW in insect appendices, and allows obtaining data for several specimens which can be investigated for differences between groups. Proteins of interest can be identified through other complementary MS approaches.


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