Quantitative proteomic profiles of androgen receptor signaling in the liver of fathead minnows (pimephales promelas)

Christopher J. Martyniuk, Sophie Alvarez, Scott McClung, Daniel L. Villeneuve, Gerald T. Ankley, Nancy D. Denslow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Androgenic chemicals are present in the environment at concentrations that impair reproductive processes in fish. The objective of this experiment was to identify proteins and cell processes mediated through androgen receptor signaling using an androgen receptor agonist (17/-trenbolone) and antagonist (flutamide) in the liver. Female fathead minnows were exposed to nominal concentrations of either 17/-trenbolone (0.05, 0.5, or 5 //g/L), flutamide (50, 150, or 500 //g/L), or a mixture (500 //g flutamide/L and 0.5 //g17/-trenbolone/L) for 48 h. The iTRAQ method was used to label peptides after protein extraction and trypsin-digestion from livers of untreated controls or from fish treated with 17/- trenbolone (5 //g/L), flutamide (500 //g/L), or a mixture of both compounds. Forty-five proteins were differentially altered by one or more treatments (p < 0.05). Many altered proteins were involved in cellular metabolism (e.g., glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, phosphoglycerate mutase), general and oxidative stress response (e.g., superoxide dismutase and heat shock proteins), and the regulation of translation (e.g., ribosomal proteins). Cellular pathway analysis identified additional signaling cascades activated or inhibited by flutamide that may not be androgen receptor mediated. We also compared changes in select proteins to changes in their mRNA levels and observed, in general, that proteins and mRNA changes did not correlate, suggesting complex regulation at the level of both the transcriptome and proteome. It is concluded that both transcriptomic and proteomic approaches offer unique and complementary insights into mechanisms of regulation. We demonstrate the utility of proteomic profiling for use on a model species with value to ecotoxicology but having limited genomic information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2186-2200
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of proteome research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Androgens
  • Antiandrogen
  • Gene expression
  • Oxidative stress
  • Quantitative proteomics
  • Toxicoproteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)


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