A plasma membrane wound proteome: reversible externalization of intracellular proteins following reparable mechanical damage

J Biol Chem. 2010 Nov 19;285(47):36597-607. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.110015. Epub 2010 Sep 1.


Cells in mechanically active tissues undergo constant plasma membrane damage that must be repaired to allow survival. To identify wound-associated proteins, a cell-impermeant, thiol-reactive biotinylation reagent was used to label and subsequently isolate intracellular proteins that become exposed on the surface of cultured cells after plasma membrane damage induced by scraping from substratum or crushing with glass beads. Scrape-damaged cells survived injury and were capable of forming viable colonies. Proteins that were exposed to the cell surface were degraded or internalized a few seconds to several minutes after damage, except for vimentin, which was detectable on the cell surface for at least an hour after injury. Seven major biotinylated protein bands were identified on SDS-PAGE gels. Mass spectrometric studies identified cytoskeletal proteins (caldesmon-1 and vimentin), endoplasmic reticulum proteins (ERp57, ERp5, and HSP47), and nuclear proteins (lamin C, heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein F, and nucleophosmin-1) as major proteins exposed after injury. Although caldesmon was a major wound-associated protein in calpain small subunit knock-out fibroblasts, it was rapidly degraded in wild-type cells, probably by calpains. Lamin C exposure after wounding was most likely the consequence of nuclear envelope damage. These studies document major intracellular proteins associated with the cell surface of reversibly damaged somatic cells. The studies also show that externalization of some proteins reported to have physiologic or pathologic roles on the cell surface can occur in cells undergoing plasma membrane damage and subsequent repair.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotinylation
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology
  • Embryo, Mammalian / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestines / cytology
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Myoblasts / metabolism
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proteome / analysis*
  • Rats
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
  • Stress, Mechanical*
  • Wound Healing*


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proteome