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New publication looks at the biomarkers of COPD in skeletal muscle integrity response to exercise

A collaboration between the Coon group and the lab of Ariel Jaitovich at Albany Medical College looked at patients with chronic Pulmonary disease (COPD) who developed muscle dysfunction, a condition associated with higher mortality rates and poor outcomes for these individuals. This study was a large-scale analysis of the mouse muscle proteome to identify the significant upregulated proteins contributing to muscle dysfunction.

Read the full article, Established biomarkers of COPD reflect skeletal muscle integrity’s response to exercise in an animal model of pulmonary emphysema, by Balnis et al.

Li lab identifies metabolite and protein biomarkers to identify prostatic inflammation with lower urinary tract symptoms

Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are common among aging men. Since inflammation is one of its indicators, it is plausible that urinary metabolite and protein biomarkers could be used to identified and diagnose inflammation-induced LUTS. In this study, the Li lab used Mass spectrometry (MS)-based multi-omics analysis to characterize the urine metabolome and proteome in a mouse model. By comparing their findings with urinary biomarkers associated with LUTS in older men, they identified creatine, haptoglobin, immunoglobulin kappa constant and polymeric Ig receptor as conserved biomarkers for prostatic inflammation associated with LUTS.

The full article, Urinary metabolomic and proteomic analyses in a mouse model of prostatic inflammation, can be viewed here.

DiLeu isobaric tags achieves 21-plex quantification

Isobaric tags enable multiplexed quantitative analysis of many biological samples in a single LC-MS/MS experiment. As a cost-effective alternative to expensive commercial isobaric tagging reagents, the lab of Lingjun Li has developed their own custom “DiLeu” isobaric tags for quantitative proteomics. In this paper, Dustin Frost showcases a new generation of DiLeu tags that achieves 21-plex quantification in high-resolution HCD MS/MS spectra.

21-plex DiLeu Isobaric Tags for High-throughput Quantitative Proteomics. Analytical Chemistry.

Li lab collaboration yields insights into spinal cord stimulation for pain relief

A recent publication by Tilley et al titled Proteomic modulation in the dorsal spinal cord following spinal cord stimulation therapy in an in vivo neuropathic pain model, explores how Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) can provide relief for patients suffering from chronic pain, with less dependence on electrical interference. Recent evidence has been growing regarding molecular changes that are induced by SCS as being a key player in reversing the pain process. In this paper the effect of SCS on altering protein expression in spinal cord tissue using a proteomic analysis approach are observed.

Multi-Omics of COVID-19 Collaboration with Albany Medical College

A collaboration with the lab of Dr. Ariel Jaitovich at Albany Medical College studied a Large-scale Multi-omic Analysis of COVID-19 Severity (in preprint). Over 17,000 transcripts, proteins, metabolites, and lipids were quantified and associated with clinical outcomes in a curated relational database, uniquely enabling systems analysis and cross-ome correlations to molecules and patient prognoses. A web-based tool ( enables interactive exploration and illustrates its utility through a comparative analysis with published data and a machine learning prediction of COVID-19 severity.

Collaboration yields insights into iron restriction for limiting pathogen growth

A recent collaboration titled Tailoring a Global Iron Regulon to a Uropathogen looks at host iron restriction as a mechanism for limiting the growth of pathogens. The study compared the regulatory network controlled by Fur in uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) to that of nonpathogenic E. coli K-12 to uncover strategies that bacteria use to overcome iron limitation. Although iron homeostasis functions were regulated by Fur in the uropathogen as expected, a surprising finding was the activation of the stringent and general stress responses in the uropathogen fur mutant, which was rescued by amino acid addition. This coordinated global response could be important during transitions from the nutrient-rich environment of the lower gastrointestinal tract to the more restrictive environment of the urinary tract.

Collaboration explores the role of N-glycans during vertebrate development

A collaboration with the lab of Norman Dovichi at the University of Notre Dame explores the role of N-glycans in biological processes during vertebrate development. In a recent publication, Quantitative Capillary Zone Electrophoresis-Mass Spectrometry Reveals the N-glycome Developmental Plan during Vertebrate Embryogenesis, they report on the first quantitative studies of both the expression of N-linked glycans at six early development stages and the expression of N-glycosylated peptides at two early development stages in the African clawed frog. In the study, N-Glycans were labeled with isobaric tandem mass tags and characterized using tandem mass spectrometry. Over two thirds of the N-glycoproteins identified in the late stage were associated with neuron projection morphogenesis, suggesting a vital role of the N-glycome in neuronal development.

Li lab collaboration explores noninvasive markers in prostate disease diagnosis

A recent collaboration between the labs of Lingjun Li and William Ricke explores the relationship between prostatic hyperplasia and related lower urinary tract symptoms in aging males and how noninvasive markers could be helpful in disease diagnosis. This proteomics study used a mouse model of hormone-induced urinary dysfunction to gain insight into the disease and supports the concept of noninvasive urinary biomarkers being a successful route for prostate disease diagnostics.

Thomas S, Hao L, DeLaney K, McLean D, Steinke L, Marker PC, Vezina CM, Li L, Ricke WA. Spatiotemporal proteomics reveals the molecular consequences of hormone treatment in a mouse model of lower urinary tract dysfunction. Journal of Proteome Research. 2020, 19(4):1375-1382.

Characterizing modified nucleic acids using negative electron transfer dissociation

A recent publication in Analytical Chemistry by Trenton Peters-Clarke explores the promise of modified oligonucleotides for drug development, with small interfering RNAs (siRNA) and microRNAs gaining traction in the therapeutic market. Mass spectrometry (MS)-based analysis offers many benefits for characterizing modified nucleic acids. Negative electron transfer dissociation (NETD) has proven valuable in sequencing oligonucleotide anions, particularly because it can retain modifications while generating sequence-informative fragments.