Peptide location fingerprinting reveals modification-associated biomarker candidates of ageing in human tissue proteomes

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Although dysfunctional protein homeostasis (proteostasis) is a key factor in many age-related diseases, the untargeted identification of structurally modified proteins remains challenging. Peptide location fingerprinting is a proteomic analysis technique capable of identifying structural modification-associated differences in mass spectrometry (MS) data sets of complex biological samples. A new webtool (Manchester Peptide Location Fingerprinter), applied to photoaged and intrinsically aged skin proteomes, can relatively quantify peptides and map statistically significant differences to regions within protein structures. New photoageing biomarker candidates were identified in multiple pathways including extracellular matrix organisation (collagens and proteoglycans), protein synthesis and folding (ribosomal proteins and TRiC complex subunits), cornification (keratins) and hemidesmosome assembly (plectin and integrin α6β4). Crucially, peptide location fingerprinting uniquely identified 120 protein biomarker candidates in the dermis and 71 in the epidermis which were modified as a consequence of photoageing but did not differ significantly in relative abundance (measured by MS1 ion intensity). By applying peptide location fingerprinting to published MS data sets, (identifying biomarker candidates including collagen V and versican in ageing tendon) we demonstrate the potential of the MPLF webtool for biomarker discovery.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13355
JournalAging cell
Issue number5
Early online date8 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2021