Mass Spectrometry Capabilities at the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) Enable Users to Identify a Potential Biomarker for Neurodegenerative Diseases


Users of the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington, in collaboration with scientists from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), are researching the precise connection between oxidative stress cell damage caused during metabolism when the oxygen in the body assumes ever more chemically reactive forms and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Lou Gehrig’s. Through the use of EMSL’s state-of-the-art mass spectrometry capabilities that allow protein identification and separation with unprecedented precision, researchers were able to conduct this important study from the largest and most detailed proteomic analysis of a mammalian brain generated to date nearly 8,000 different, detectable proteins in the brain of a mouse. Results of the study suggested that many neurodegenerative diseases leave the biomarker, nitrotyrosine, which could be used to predict the earliest stage of brain impairment and perhaps lead to detection of disease states before symptoms occur. The researchers, who are funded by the National Institutes of Health and PNNL, will continue their study using tissues with neurodegenerative diseases. A feature article in Science Daily briefly describes the research findings. Details of the research are in Biochemistry [45(26):8009-8022], and details concerning the characterization of the mouse brain proteome are in the Journal of Proteome Research [5(2):361-369].

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