Tibial dyschondroplasia (TD) is a poultry leg problem that affects the proximal growth plate of the tibia, preventing its transition to bone. To understand the disease-induced proteomic changes, we compared the protein extracts of cartilage from normal and TD-affected growth plates. TD was induced by feeding thiram to chickens 2 wk before tissue harvest. Proteins were extracted from whole tissues and from conditioned media (CM) prepared by incubating appropriate growth plate tissues in serum-free culture medium for 48 hr. The extracts were prefractionated to contain proteins ranging between 10 and 100 kD. Equal amounts of proteins were subjected to 2D gel electrophoresis with three individual samples per group. The gels were silver stained, and digital images were compared and analyzed with Melanie software to determine differentially expressed protein spots. On comparison of two sets of gels, 47 matching spots were detected in tissue extracts and 27 in CM extracts. Among the matching spots, 12 were determined to be down-regulated in tissue extracts (P ≤ 0.05) and two in CM extracts (P ≤ 0.05) of TD-affected growth plates. Altogether, 32 protein spots could be identified in both tissue and CM extracts by in-gel trypsin digestion, followed by peptide mass fingerprinting and mass spectrometry (MS)/MS fragmentation. The down-regulated proteins included alpha-enolase, G protein, origin recognition complex, peptidyl prolyl isomerase, calumenin, type II collagen precursor, and the expressed sequence tag pgm2n.pk014.f20, a protein with homology to human reticulocalbin-3 (RCN3). Most of the down-regulated proteins are associated with signal transduction, energy metabolism, and secretory functions that are integral to cell viability. Consistent with our earlier findings that the TD chondrocytes are nonviable, the current results suggest that thiram very likely interferes with basic metabolic functions of chondrocytes, leading to their death and, consequently, to the pathogenesis of TD.
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Vol. 54 • No. 4