Towards second-generation proteome analysis of murine enamel-forming cells

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Proteome analysis of rat enamel-forming cells, initiated over a decade ago, has provided valuable insights to enamel biology. In preparation for a more comprehensive, second-generation proteomic exploration, we evaluated an updated microsample-profiling strategy that comprises sequential extraction of enamel epithelium, parallel one- and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and mass spectrometric sequence analysis. The results indicated that several hundred proteins, representing various cellular compartments (including membranes), are amenable to identification with a starting tissue volume of < 10 μl. With its increased proteomic depth and breadth, this straightforward approach constitutes a major advance from the first-generation work (10-fold increased proteome coverage), although care was needed to ensure a comparably high stringency of protein identification. Expression proteomics has an exciting potential to elucidate the inner workings of murine enamel epithelial cells, leading to an improved understanding of enamel in health and disease.

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