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Quantitative changes in proteins responsible for flavonoid and anthocyanin biosynthesis in strawberry fruit at different ripening stages: A targeted quantitative proteomic investigation employing multiple reaction monitoring

Song, J., Du, L., Li, L., Kalt, W., Palmer, L.C., Fillmore, S., Zhang, Y., Zhang, Z.Q., Li, X.H. (2015). Quantitative changes in proteins responsible for flavonoid and anthocyanin biosynthesis in strawberry fruit at different ripening stages: A targeted quantitative proteomic investigation employing multiple reaction monitoring, 122 1-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jprot.2015.03.017

Abstract

© 2015. To better understand the regulation of flavonoid and anthocyanin biosynthesis, a targeted quantitative proteomic investigation employing LC-MS with multiple reaction monitoring was conducted on two strawberry cultivars at three ripening stages. This quantitative proteomic workflow was improved through an OFFGEL electrophoresis to fractionate peptides from total protein digests. A total of 154 peptide transitions from 47 peptides covering 21 proteins and isoforms related to anthocyanin biosynthesis were investigated. The normalized protein abundance, which was measured using isotopically-labeled standards, was significantly changed concurrently with increased anthocyanin content and advanced fruit maturity. The protein abundance of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase; anthocyanidin synthase, chalcone isomerase; flavanone 3-hydroxylase; dihydroflavonol 4-reductase, UDP-glucose:flavonoid-3-O-glucosyltransferase, cytochrome c and cytochrome C oxidase subunit 2, was all significantly increased in fruit of more advanced ripeness. An interaction between cultivar and maturity was also shown with respect to chalcone isomerase. The good correlation between protein abundance and anthocyanin content suggested that a metabolic control point may exist for anthocyanin biosynthesis. This research provides insights into the process of anthocyanin formation in strawberry fruit at the level of protein concentration and reveals possible candidates in the regulation of anthocyanin formation during fruit ripening. Biological significance: To gain insight into the molecular mechanisms contributing to flavonoids and anthocyanin biosynthesis and regulation of strawberry fruit during ripening is challenging due to limited molecular biology tools and established hypothesis. Our targeted proteomic approach employing LC-MS/MS analysis and MRM technique to quantify proteins in relation to flavonoids and anthocyanin biosynthesis and regulation in strawberry fruit during fruit ripening is novel. The identification of peptides and proteins provided reliable design and validation of quantitative approaches using SRM on targeted proteins proposed involved in strawberry fruit. Our data revealed the identifying candidate proteins and their quantitative changes in relation to fruit ripening and flavonoids and anthocyanin biosynthesis and regulation. More importantly, this quantitative proteomic data is also compared with chemical analysis to reveal possible control levels of this important quality trait.Although, MRM approach is not new in plant biology research, the application has been very rare. This is the first systematic multi-targeted interrogation of the possible regulation of entire pathway of flavonoids and anthocyanin biosynthesis in strawberry fruit at different ripening stages using quantitative MRM technique on mass spectrometry. Our results demonstrate the power of targeted quantitative mass spectrometry data for analysis of proteins in biological regulation. These results indicate that distinct and diverse control of flavonoids and anthocyanin biosynthesis mechanisms at metabolism and proteins levels. This important and complementary knowledge will be useful for systematically characterizing the flavonoids and anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway of any fruit/plant species.

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