Drosophila melanogaster is emerging as a powerful model system for the study of cardiac disease. Establishing peptide and protein maps of the Drosophila heart is central to implementation of protein network studies that will allow us to assess the hallmarks of Drosophila heart pathogenesis and gauge the degree of conservation with human disease mechanisms on a systems level. Using a gel-LC-MS/MS approach, we identified 1228 protein clusters from 145 dissected adult fly hearts. Contractile, cytostructural and mitochondrial proteins were most abundant consistent with electron micrographs of the Drosophila cardiac tube. Functional/Ontological enrichment analysis further showed that proteins involved in glycolysis, Ca2+-binding, redox, and G-protein signaling, among other processes, are also over-represented. Comparison with a mouse heart proteome revealed conservation at the level of molecular function, biological processes and cellular components. The subsisting peptidome encompassed 5169 distinct heart-associated peptides, of which 1293 (25%) had not been identified in a recent Drosophila peptide compendium. PeptideClassifier analysis was further used to map peptides to specific gene-models. 1872 peptides provide valuable information about protein isoform groups whereas a further 3112 uniquely identify specific protein isoforms and may be used as a heart-associated peptide resource for quantitative proteomic approaches based on multiple-reaction monitoring. In summary, identification of excitation-contraction protein landmarks, orthologues of proteins associated with cardiovascular defects, and conservation of protein ontologies, provides testimony to the heart-like character of the Drosophila cardiac tube and to the utility of proteomics as a complement to the power of genetics in this growing model of human heart disease.
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