To better understand the pathogenesis of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) and to determine which cell pathways might be affected after WSSV infection, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) was used to produce protein expression profiles from samples taken at 48 h post-infection (hpi) from the stomachs of Litopenaeus vannamei (also called Penaeus vannamei) that were either specific pathogen free or else infected with WSSV. Seventy-five protein spots that consistently showed either a marked change (>50%) in accumulated levels or else were highly expressed throughout the course of WSSV infection were selected for further study. After in-gel trypsin digestion followed by LC-nanoESI-MS/MS, bioinformatics databases were searched for matches. A total of 53 proteins were identified, with functions that included energy production, calcium homeostasis, nucleic acid synthesis, signaling/communication, oxygen carrier/transportation, and SUMO-related modification. 2-DE results were shown to be consistent with relative EST database data from a previously developed EST database of two Penaeus monodon cDNA libraries. For seven selected genes, 2-DE and EST data were also compared with transcriptional time-course RT-PCR data. This study is the first global analysis of differentially expressed proteins in WSSV-infected shrimp, and in addition to increasing our understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of this virus-associated shrimp disease, the results presented here should be useful both for identifying potential biomarkers and for developing antiviral measures.
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