Protein profile of osteoarthritic human articular cartilage using tandem mass spectrometry

Benjamin A. Garcia, Mark D. Platt, Timothy L. Born, Jeffrey Shabanowitz, Norman A. Marcus, Donald F. Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Articular cartilage contains both chondrocyte cells and extracellular matrix (ECM) components. Currently, comprehensive information concerning the protein composition of human articular cartilage tissue is somewhat lacking. In this report we detail the use of tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) for a preliminary global identification of proteins from human articular knee cartilage tissue from patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis. Knee cartilage supernatant was fractionated using one-dimensional sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (1D-SDS-PAGE), in-gel digested and peptide sequences were then determined by performing on-line nano-liquid chromatography (LC)/MS/MS experiments using an ion trap mass spectrometer. Altogether, over 100 different proteins from nearly 700 unique peptide sequences were detected by MS/MS. The majority of the proteins identified are involved in ECM organization (35%), signal transduction and cell communication (14%), immune response (11%) and metabolism and energy pathways (11%). Proteins observed included several well-known cartilage components as well as lower abundant lesser known ECM proteins. Possible degradation products in the cartilage sample, such as from cartilage link protein, could also be detected by our mass spectrometry methods. We show here that mass spectrometry can be utilized as a tool for a fast, accurate and sensitive analysis of a complex mixture of cartilage proteins. It is believed that this type of proteomic analysis will aid future work centered on investigating the pathology of this and other related joint diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2999-3006
Number of pages8
JournalRapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2006


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