We report a comprehensive and quantitative analysis of the mouse liver and plasma proteomes. The method used is based on extensive fractionation of intact proteins, further separation of proteins based on their abundance and size, and high-accuracy mass spectrometry. This analysis reached a depth in proteomic profiling not reported to date for a mammalian tissue or a biological fluid, with 7099 and 4727 proteins identified with high confidence in the liver and in the corresponding plasma, respectively. This method allowed for the identification in both compartments of low-abundance proteins such as cytokines, chemokines, and receptors and for the detection in plasma of proteins in the pg/mL concentration range. This method also allowed for semiquantitation of all identified proteins. The calculated abundance scores correlated with the abundance of the corresponding transcripts for the large majority of the proteins identified in the liver. Finally, comparison of the liver and plasma datasets demonstrated that a significant number of proteins identified in the liver can be detected in plasma. These included proteins involved in complement and coagulation, in fatty acid, purine and pyruvate metabolism, in gluconeogenesis and glycolysis, in protein ubiquitination, and in insulin, interleukin-4, epidermal growth factor, and platelet-derived growth factor signaling.
Conclusion: This in-depth analysis of the mouse liver and corresponding plasma proteomes provides a strong basis for investigations of liver pathobiology and biology that employ mouse models of hepatic diseases in an effort to better understand, diagnose, treat, and prevent human hepatic diseases.