Metabolic acidosis is a relatively common pathological condition that is defined as a decrease in blood pH and bicarbonate concentration. The renal proximal convoluted tubule responds to this condition by increasing the extraction of plasma glutamine and activating ammoniagenesis and gluconeogenesis. The combined processes increase the excretion of acid and produce bicarbonate ions that are added to the blood to partially restore acid-base homeostasis. Only a few cytosolic proteins, such as phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, have been determined to play a role in the renal response to metabolic acidosis. Therefore, further analysis was performed to better characterize the response of the cytosolic proteome. Proximal convoluted tubule cells were isolated from rat kidney cortex at various times after onset of acidosis and fractionated to separate the soluble cytosolic proteins from the remainder of the cellular components. The cytosolic proteins were analyzed using two-dimensional liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Spectral counting along with average MS/MS total ion current were used to quantify temporal changes in relative protein abundance. In all, 461 proteins were confidently identified, of which 24 exhibited statistically significant changes in abundance. To validate these techniques, several of the observed abundance changes were confirmed by Western blotting. Data from the cytosolic fractions were then combined with previous proteomic data, and pathway analyses were performed to identify the primary pathways that are activated or inhibited in the proximal convoluted tubule during the onset of metabolic acidosis.
Keywords: cytosolic proteins; mass spectrometry; metabolic acidosis; proximal convoluted tubule; spectral counting.