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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 984080, 11 pages
Research Article

Identification and Characterization of Cell Wall Proteins of a Toxic Dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella Using 2-D DIGE and MALDI TOF-TOF Mass Spectrometry

State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Environmental Science Research Centre, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China

Received 20 January 2011; Accepted 30 June 2011

Copyright © 2011 Da-Zhi Wang et al. 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.


The cell wall is an important subcellular component of dinoflagellate cells with regard to various aspects of cell surface-associated ecophysiology, but the full range of cell wall proteins (CWPs) and their functions remain to be elucidated. This study identified and characterized CWPs of a toxic dinoflagellate, Alexandrium catenella, using a combination of 2D fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis (DIGE) and MALDI TOF-TOF mass spectrometry approaches. Using sequential extraction and temperature shock methods, sequentially extracted CWPs and protoplast proteins, respectively, were separated from A. catenella. From the comparison between sequentially extracted CWPs labeled with Cy3 and protoplast proteins labeled with Cy5, 120 CWPs were confidently identified in the 2D DIGE gel. These proteins gave positive identification of protein orthologues in the protein database using de novo sequence analysis and homology-based search. The majority of the prominent CWPs identified were hypothetical or putative proteins with unknown function or no annotation, while cell wall modification enzymes, cell wall structural proteins, transporter/binding proteins, and signaling and defense proteins were tentatively identified in agreement with the expected role of the extracellular matrix in cell physiology. This work represents the first attempt to investigate dinoflagellate CWPs and provides a potential tool for future comprehensive characterization of dinoflagellate CWPs and elucidation of their physiological functions.