, Volume 405, Issue 4, pp 1171-1179
Date: 14 Nov 2012

Effect-based proteomic detection of growth promoter abuse

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Abstract

Unregulated growth promoter use in food-producing animals is an issue of concern both from food safety and animal welfare perspectives. However, the monitoring of such practices is analytically challenging due to the concerted actions of users to evade detection. Techniques based on the monitoring of biological responses to exogenous administrations have been proposed as more sensitive methods to identify treated animals. This study has, for the first time, profiled plasma proteome responses in bovine animals to treatment with nortestosterone decanoate and 17β-oestradiol benzoate, followed by dexamethasone administration. Two-dimensional fluorescence differential in-gel electrophoresis analysis revealed a series of hepatic and acute-phase proteins within plasma whose levels were up- or down-regulated within phases of the treatment regime. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) immuno-assays were developed to quantify responses of identified protein markers during the experimental treatment study with a view to developing methods which can be used as screening tools for growth promoter abuse detection. SPR analysis demonstrated the potential for plasma proteins to be used as indicative measures of growth promoter administrations and concludes that the sensitivity and robustness of any detection approach based on plasma proteome analysis would benefit from examination of a range of proteins representative of diverse biological processes rather being reliant on specific individual markers.