The membrane proteome of Halobacterium salinarum

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Abstract

The identification of 114 integral membrane proteins from Halobacterium salinarum was achieved using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometric (LC/MS/MS) techniques, representing 20% of the predicted alpha-helical transmembrane proteins of the genome. For this experiment, a membrane preparation with only minor contamination by soluble proteins was prepared. From this membrane preparation a number of peripheral membrane proteins were identified by the classical two dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) approach, but identification of integral membrane proteins largely failed with only a very few being identified. By use of a fluorescently labeled membrane preparation, we document that this is caused by an irreversible precipitation of the membrane proteins upon isoelectric focusing (IEF). Attempts to overcome this problem by using alternative IEF methods and IEF strip solubilisation techniques were not successful, and we conclude that the classical 2-DE approach is not suited for the identification of integral membrane proteins. Computational analysis showed that the identification of integral membrane proteins is further complicated by the generation of tryptic peptides, which are unfavorable for matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometric peptide mass fingerprint analysis. Together with the result from the analysis of the cytosolic proteome (see preceding paper), we could identify 34% (943) of all gene products in H. salinarum which can be theoretically expressed. This is a cautious estimate as very stringent criteria were applied for identification. These results are available under www.halolex.mpg.de.

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