Gene Stowe and Marissa Gebhard | Mar. 27, 2014 | Notre Dame College of Science
Now that the human genome is sequenced, University of Notre Dame researchers are focusing on the study of the proteome, which is the protein content of an organism, tissue or cell. Bioanalytical chemist Norman Dovichi and molecular biologist Paul Huber have successfully tracked the changing patterns of protein expression during early development of Xenopus laevis, or African clawed frog, embryos. They have developed the largest data set on developmental proteomics for any organism, and have included the single-cell zygote.
The Notre Dame team based in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Science has identified and measured the levels of about 4,000 proteins, which exhibited patterns of expression that reflect key events during early Xenopus development. For example, the appearance of organ- and tissue-specific proteins, such as those found exclusively in cardiac muscle cells, accurately reflects imminent anatomical changes taking place in the embryo. The research could lead to insight into congenital birth defects that result from the misregulation of gene expression.