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Pure Appl. Chem., 2008, Vol. 80, No. 12, pp. 2609-2626

Integrated application of transcriptomics, proteomics, and metallomics in environmental studies

Macarena González-Fernández1, Tamara García-Barrera1, Juan Jurado2, María J. Prieto-Álamo2, Carmen Pueyo2, Juan López-Barea2 and José Luis Gómez-Ariza1

1 Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Faculty of Experimental Science, University of Huelva, El Carmen Campus, 21007-Huelva, Spain
2 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Severo Ochoa Building, University of Córdoba, Rabanales Campus, 14071 Córdoba, Spain

Abstract: Here we report a preliminary working scheme for the integrative application of transcriptomic, proteomic, and metallomic methodologies in environmental monitoring, by using as sentinel the wildlife species Mus spretus and as reference the gene/protein sequence databases from the key model species Mus musculus. We have demonstrated that the absolute transcript expression signatures quantified by reverse transcription (RT) and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of selected key genes (e.g., those coding for biotransformation enzymes) in M. spretus is a useful and reliable novel biomonitoring end-point. The suitability of commercial M. musculus oligonucleotide arrays for genome-wide transcriptional profiling in M. spretus has been also shown. Transcriptomic studies indicate considerable gene sequence similarities between both mouse species. Based on these similarities, we have demonstrated the applicability in free-living M. spretus of high-throughput proteomic methods, based on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOFMS) analysis of tryptic 2D electrophoresis (2-DE) spot digest and peptide matching with M. musculus database. A metallomic approach based on size exclusion chromatography inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (SEC-ICP-MS) was applied to trace metal-biomolecule profiles. A preliminary integration of these three -omics has been addressed to M. musculus/M. spretus couple, two rodent species that separated 3 million years ago. The integrated application of transcriptomic and proteomic data and the bidirectional use of metallomics and proteomics for selective isolation of metal-biomolecules are covered in the working scheme MEPROTRANS-triple-OMIC reported in this study.