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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2005 (2005), Issue 3, Pages 271-279
Research article

Proteomic Profiling and Neurodegeneration in West-Nile-Virus-Infected Neurons

1Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens 30602, GA, USA
2Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens 30602, GA, USA

Received 4 October 2004; Revised 9 February 2005; Accepted 14 February 2005

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne flavivirus, is a human, equine, and avian pathogen. High-resolution two-dimensional differential-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) was used to characterize protein expression in primary rat neurons and to examine the proteomic profiling to understand the pathogenesis of West-Nile-associated meningoencephalitis. Three pH ranges, 3–10, 4–7, and 5–6, were used to analyze the protein spots. The proteins are labeled with fluorescent dyes Cy3 and Cy5 before being separated on the basis of charge and size respectively on a two-dimensional platform. About 55 proteins showed altered expression levels. These were then subsequently digested and identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) analysis using peptide mass fingerprinting and database searching. These cellular proteins could represent distinct roles during infection related to apoptosis. Our findings show that two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis combined with mass spectrometry is a powerful approach that permits the identification of proteins whose expression was altered due to West Nile virus infection.