Thiourea enhances mapping of the proteome from murine white adipose tissue

Proteomics. 2001 Jul;1(7):819-28. doi: 10.1002/1615-9861(200107)1:7<819::AID-PROT819>3.0.CO;2-V.


Adipose tissue imposes problems in two-dimensional (2-D) analysis due to its extremely high content of fat. To improve protein separation detergents and chaotropes were varied in the IEF step. The most important factor for obtaining distinct spots in the 2-D gel was whether thiourea was included or not. Many high molecular weight spots became resolved by using thiourea, while no spots disappeared or showed inferior characteristics, thus approximately twice as many spots were possible to quantify. Hydrophobic indices were compared for a set of proteins that gave rise to sharper spots with proteins that were not improved on the use of thiourea. The comparison did not give any statistically significant difference between the two groups of proteins. One of the effects obtained by inclusion of thiourea was that the dominating protein, serum albumin, appeared as more condensed spots allowing other minor proteins to be detected. This work resulted in a protocol which greatly enhances the resolution of proteins in adipose tissue. A 2-D map of mouse white adipose tissue from epididymal fat pads was constructed in which 140 spots were identified by mass spectrometry. This work lays the ground for our further studies on white adipose tissue in metabolic diseases such as obesity and dyslipidemia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional / methods*
  • Hyperlipidemias / metabolism
  • Isoelectric Focusing / methods
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Obese
  • Molecular Weight
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Peptide Mapping / methods
  • Proteome / genetics
  • Proteome / isolation & purification*
  • Thiourea


  • Proteome
  • Thiourea