The identification and characterisation of Monodelphis proteins has required cross-species analysis. Protein expression was investigated in normal, nonirradiated adult fibroblasts and also in fibroblastic cells from a benign cutaneous tumour after chronic ultraviolet (UVB) exposure and a metastatic cutaneous tumour after intermittent exposure. Proteins were separated and visualised by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-D PAGE) and a peptide mass fingerprint (PMF) was obtained for protein spots using matrix assisted laser desorption/ionisation-time of flight-mass spectrometry (MALDITOF-MS). Cross-species PMF database analysis facilitated the identification of 120 proteins, constituting 46.5% of the proteins analysed. The identification of two proteins was confirmed by internal amino acid sequencing using tandem MS. Differential protein expression was observed between normal fibroblasts and those in tumours chronically or intermittently exposed. A number of tropomyosin and vimentin isoforms were expressed only in cells from the metastatic tumour induced by intermittent exposure to UV radiation. These results highlight the value of cross-species PMF analysis for the rapid characterisation of proteins from a poorly defined species and also show how proteomics can be used to detect changes in protein expression in differentially treated cells.
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