Proteome analysis of the rat cornea during angiogenesis.
Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels from the pre-existing vasculature. However, the study of this complex process is often hampered by the lack of a suitable cell-based model and the tools to study the biochemical events that lead to new blood vessel growth. The most widely accepted model for angiogenesis is the in vivo rat corneal model. In this model, the cornea, which is normally an avascular tissue, is stimulated to undergo angiogenesis in response to silver nitrate cauterization or to the implantation of an exogenous angiogenic agent. The physical changes associated with the new vessel growth can be readily monitored visually, but the regulated biochemical events that result in the growth and remodeling of the new vessels are much more challenging to decipher. In this report, a proteomics approach is evaluated for its utility in deciphering the biochemical events during a time course of angiogenic stimulation. At various time points post-silver nitrate cautery, corneas were harvested, solubilized, and analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Protein expression profiles at the various stages of angiogenesis were compared to those of control corneas. One hundred and eleven differentially-expressed proteins were identified by either matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry or liquid chromatography-coupled electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Many of the proteins up-regulated during the angiogenesis process were identified as blood-related proteins, thus validating the development of functional blood vessels in the normally avascular tissue of the cornea. Furthermore, detection of differentially-regulated proteins in cauterized versus control tissue clearly validated the utility of a proteomics approach to study this model of angiogenesis. However, in order to get at the key regulatory proteins in the angiogenesis process, it is clear that additional scale-up and enrichment approaches will be required.
Thompson, LJ; Wang, F; Proia, AD; Peters, KG; Jarrold, B; Greis, KD
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