Springer, D. L., Ahram, M., Adkins, J. N., Kathmann, L. E. and Miller, J. H. Characterization of Medium Conditioned by Irradiated Cells Using Proteome-Wide, High-Throughput Mass Spectrometry. Radiat. Res. 164, 651–654 (2005).
Shedding, the release of cell surface proteins by regulated proteolysis, is a general cellular response to injury and is responsible for generating numerous bioactive molecules including growth factors and cytokines. The purpose of our work is to determine whether low doses of low-linear energy transfer (LET) radiation induce shedding of bioactive molecules. Using a mass spectrometry-based global proteomics method, we tested this hypothesis by analyzing for shed proteins in medium from irradiated human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC). Several hundred proteins were identified, including transforming growth factor beta (TGFB); however, no changes in protein abundances attributable to radiation exposure, based on immunoblotting methods, were observed. These results demonstrate that our proteomic-based approach has the sensitivity to identify the kinds of proteins believed to be released after low-dose radiation exposure but that improvements in mass spectrometry-based protein quantification will be required to detect the small changes in abundance associated with this type of insult.