A multi-omics strategy to discover and validate missing proteins in the ovary


In a publication in Journal of Proteome Research transcriptomics and spatial proteomics were used to investigate and validate the expression of so-called missing proteins in the human ovary.

The ovary plays important roles in both the endocrine and reproductive systems and is responsible for both hormone production and the monthly release of a mature oocyte during the reproductive years. The complex dynamics and changes over a lifetime together with a varied cellular composition, and limited sample access also makes it a challenging organ in large-scale omics studies.

Here RNA seq analysis was performed on a set of pre-menopausal samples and by using both RNA seq and IHC data already available in the Human Protein Atlas, as well as, IHC staining of a large section of ovarian cortex, a set of genes with enriched expression in the ovary, no previous evidence at the protein level and with distinct staining in follicles could be selected. These genes were then subjected to in-depth spatial proteomics analysis using the pre-menopausal samples and the staining patterns were validated by single cell transcriptomics and multiplex antibody-based staining.

The results show that this strategy can be very useful for identifying the tissues and cell types where missing proteins could be discovered, and also for validating the expression of genes in these cell types.

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