Molecular brain

Anatomo-proteomic characterization of human basal ganglia: focus on striatum and globus pallidus.

PMID 25406675


The basal ganglia (BG) are a complex network of subcortical nuclei involved in the coordination and integration of the motor activity. Although these independent anatomical structures are functionally related, the proteome present in each isolated nucleus remains largely unexplored. In order to analyse the BG proteome in a large-scale format, we used a multi-dimensional fractionation approach which combines isolation of anatomically-defined nuclei, and protein/peptide chromatographic fractionation strategies coupled to mass spectrometry. Using this workflow, we have obtained a proteomic expression profile across striatum and globus pallidus structures among which 1681 proteins were located in caudate nucleus (CN), 1329 in putamen, 1419 in medial globus pallidus (GPi), and 1480 in lateral globus pallidus (GPe), establishing a BG reference proteome to a depth of 2979 unique proteins. Protein interactome mapping highlighted significant clustering of common proteins in striatal and pallidal structures, contributing to oxidative phosphorylation, protein degradation and neurotrophin signalling pathways. In silico analyses emphasized specific pathways represented in striatal and pallidal structures highlighting 5-hydroxytryptamine degradation, synaptic vesicle trafficking, and dopamine, metabotropic glutamate and muscarinic acetylcholine receptor pathways. Additional bioinformatic analyses also revealed that: i) nearly 4% of identified proteins have been previously associated to neurodegenerative syndromes, ii) 11% of protein set tends to localize to synaptic terminal, and iii) 20% of identified proteins were also localized in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Overall, the anatomo-proteomic profiling of BG complements the anatomical atlas of the human brain transcriptome, increasing our knowledge about the molecular basis of the BG and the etiology of the movement disorders.