Meeting Abstract

S6-1.2  Thursday, Jan. 5  The potential of piscine proteomics: examples from studies with Fundulus REES, B.B.; Univ. New Orleans

Advanced proteomic technologies are being applied to studying patterns of protein expression and protein networks in cells and tissues of a variety of organisms. In this talk, I will review our studies on the small teleost fishes, Fundulus heteroclitus and Fundulus grandis. These species inhabit estuaries along the North American coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, and both species tolerate a wide range of variation in their physiochemical environments (e.g., temperature, salinity, and oxygen). Accordingly, the genus Fundulus has been promoted as a model system for the study of environmental biology. We have used two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry (2DE-MS) to study population variation in cardiac protein expression and inter-tissue differences in protein profiles in F. heteroclitus and F. grandis. In the former study, significant within- and among-population variation in protein expression was observed, with the among-population variation being consistent with selection along a north-south temperature gradient. In the latter study, we describe partial maps of skeletal muscle, liver, gill, brain, and heart proteomes, with the goal of providing a resource for future studies of tissue-specific changes in protein expression during exposure of these and other fishes to environmental stressors. These studies demonstrate the utility of these approaches in describing the Fundulus proteome; however, I will also address specific caveats and potential pitfalls in the application of proteomics to non-traditional model systems. Funding provided by the National Science Foundation.