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Title: Forensic Proteomics of Poxvirus Production

The field of microbial forensics has recently sought to develop methods to discern biological signatures to indicate production methods for biological agents. Viral agents have received less attention to date. Their obligate propagation in living cells makes purification from cellular material a challenge. This leads to potential carryover of protein-rich signature of their production system. Here we have explored a proteomic analysis of Vaccinia virus as a model poxvirus system in which to compare samples of virus propagated in different cell lines and subjected to different purification schemes. The proteomic data sets indicated viral, host cell and culture medium proteins, and several layers of data analysis were applied to build confidence in the peptide identification and capture information on the taxonomic utility of each. The analysis showed clear shifts in protein profiles with virus purification, with successive gradient purification steps showing different levels of viral protein enrichment. Peptides from cellular proteins, including those present in purified virus preparations, provided signatures which enabled discrimination of cell line substrates, including distinguishing between cells derived from different primate species. The ability to discern multiple aspects of viral production demonstrates the potential value of proteomic analysis as tool for microbial forensics.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
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Journal Name: Analyst, 138(21):6385-6397
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States