Dendritic cells (DCs) are unique antigen presenting cells, which upon maturation change from a specialized antigen-capturing cell towards a professional antigen presenting cells. In this study, a 2-D DIGE analysis of immature and mature DCs was performed, to identify proteins changing in expression upon maturation. The protein expression profile of immature and mature DCs, derived from CD14(+) peripheral blood monocytes was investigated using two pH ranges (pH 4-7 and 6-9) (n = 4). Ninety one differentially expressed spots (p<0.01) were detected, from which we identified 74 spots (81.32%) corresponding to 41 different proteins. The proteins identified play a role in diverse processes, such as antigen processing/presentation, vesicle transport and cytoskeleton remodeling. In addition, a protein interaction network contained 29 (out of 41) proteins, suggesting that, although they functionally originate from distinct classes, these proteins are acting as a protein-interactome. In conclusion, the proteins shown here to be altered in expression upon maturation are in line with the morphological and functional changes observed during the maturation process, providing a better understanding of the processes involved. This will open new avenues for investigating treatment regimens for immune-associated disorders.
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