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Deiminated Proteins and Extracellular Vesicles as Novel Biomarkers in Pinnipeds: Grey seal (Halichoerus gryptus) and Harbour seal (Phoca vitulina)

TitleDeiminated Proteins and Extracellular Vesicles as Novel Biomarkers in Pinnipeds: Grey seal (Halichoerus gryptus) and Harbour seal (Phoca vitulina)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsMagnadottir, B, Uysal-Onganer, P, Kraev, I, Svansson, V, Skirnisson, K, Lange, S
JournalBiochimie
Abstract

Peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs) are phylogenetically conserved calcium-dependent enzymes which post-translationally convert arginine into citrulline in target proteins in an irreversible manner, leading to functional and structural changes in target proteins. Protein deimination can cause the generation of neo-epitopes, affect gene regulation and also allow for protein moonlighting and therefore facilitate multifaceted functions of the same protein. PADs are furthermore a key regulator of cellular release of extracellular vesicle (EVs), which are found in most body fluids and participate in cellular communication via transfer of cargo proteins and genetic material. In this study, post-translationally deiminated proteins and EVs were assessed in sera of two seal species, grey seal and harbour seal. We report a poly-dispersed population of serum-EVs, which were positive for phylogenetically conserved EV-specific markers and characterised by transmission electron microscopy. A number of deiminated proteins critical for immune and metabolic functions were identified in the seal sera and varied somewhat between the two species under study, while some targets were in common. EV profiles of the seal sera further revealed that key microRNAs for inflammation, immunity and hypoxia also vary between the two species. Protein deimination and EVs profiles may be useful biomarkers for assessing health status of sea mammals, which face environmental challenges, including opportunistic infection, pollution and shifting habitat due to global warming.

DOI10.1016/j.biochi.2020.02.017
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