How well can morphology assess cell death modality? A proteomics study.

Chernobrovkin AL, Zubarev RA

Cell Death Discov 2 (-) 16068 [2016-10-03; online 2016-10-03]

While the focus of attempts to classify cell death programs has finally shifted in 2010s from microscopy-based morphological characteristics to biochemical assays, more recent discoveries have put the underlying assumptions of many such assays under severe stress, mostly because of the limited specificity of the assays. On the other hand, proteomics can quantitatively measure the abundances of thousands of proteins in a single experiment. Thus proteomics could develop a modern alternative to both semiquantitative morphology assessment as well as single-molecule biochemical assays. Here we tested this hypothesis by analyzing the proteomes of cells dying after been treated with various chemical agents. The most striking finding is that, for a multivariate model based on the proteome changes in three cells lines, the regulation patterns of the 200-500 most abundant proteins typically attributed to household type more accurately reflect that of the proteins directly interacting with the drug than any other protein subset grouped by common function or biological process, including cell death. This is in broad agreement with the 'rigid cell death mechanics' model where drug action mechanism and morphological changes caused by it are bijectively linked. This finding, if confirmed, will open way for a broad use of proteomics in death modality assessment.

Advanced Mass Spectrometry Proteomics [Collaborative]

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PubMed 27752363

DOI 10.1038/cddiscovery.2016.68

Crossref 10.1038/cddiscovery.2016.68

pmc PMC5045961