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Volume 51, Number 3, June 2018

Isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation-based comparative proteomic analysis of human pathogenic Prototheca zopfii genotype 2 and environmental genotype 1 strains 

Yuan-zhi Liu, He Wang, Jun-hao Zhu, De-min Han, Timothy Kudinha, Fan-rong Kong, Qiang-qiang Zhang


Corresponding author:

Division of Mycology, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Corresponding author. Division of Mycology, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, No.12, Urumqi Middle Road, Jing'an District, Shanghai, China. 


Background and purpose: 

Prototheca species are ubiquitous achlorophyllic microalgae belonging to the family Chlorellaceae, which can cause a wide range of infections in humans and animals. Mainly in individuals with immunologic defects or trauma, Prototheca spp. can cause even lethal diseases. However, the exact pathogenic mechanism of Prototheca in causing disease remains largely unknown. To investigate the differences between pathogenic and nonpathogenic Prototheca spp. genotypes on proteome level, a nonpathogenic Prototheca zopfii genotype 1 strain, isolated from cow manure, and a human pathogenic P. zopfii genotype 2, isolated from human granulomatous lymphadenitis, were studied. 



Differentially expressed proteins between the two genotypes were quantified by isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation-based quantitative proteomics, using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry.




A total of 245 proteins were identified from the proteomic analysis after data filtering to eliminate low-scoring spectra. Among these, 35 proteins that displayed a significant (p<0.05) 1.5-fold change were considered as differentially expressed proteins. 



The differentially expressed proteins were associated with suppressed energy production and conversion, carbohydrate transport and metabolism, and enhanced translation in the genotype 2 strain, and are thus potentially relevant in the pathogenic mechanism of P. zopfii genotype 2, but need further investigation. 


Key words:

comparative proteomic analysis, isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation, liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, Prototheca zopfii, virulence factors