2009 Volume 55 Issue 3 Pages 316-326
Functional and structural changes in the mammalian ovary are coordinately regulated by the pituitary glycoprotein hormones, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), leading to follicular development, ovulation and transformation of follicles into corpus lutea. To investigate protein profiles during these processes of the mouse ovarian cycle, we applied combined methods (two-dimensional gel electrophoresis [2-DE] for separation and visualization of proteins plus matrix laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry [MALDI-TOF/MS] analysis for protein identification) for comparative proteomic analysis using immature mice at 3 weeks of age. Protein profiles were obtained from proteins extracted from intact ovaries that had been collected from pregnant mare serum gonadotropin (PMSG)/human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)-primed immature mice at 0 (no PMSG), 24 and 48 h post PMSG, as well as at 10 and 20 h post hCG. The results showed that 1028 common protein spots were found in representative gels that had been separated in the 3 to 11 pH range and the 15-200 kDa range, 253 protein spots (24.6%) of which were differentially expressed (p<0.05) during the mouse ovarian cycle. Of these 253 protein spots, 99 were identified by MALDI-TOF/MS. This comparative proteomic approach to identifying proteins that were potentially involved in the complex process of the ovarian cycle could contribute to our understanding of the molecular basis of functional and structural changes in the ovary in response to gonadotropins. Furthermore, the interesting ovarian proteins identified in this study may eventually serve as diagnostic biomarker candidates of ovarian function.