We performed experiments to determine how environmentally relevant ultraviolet radiation (UVR) affects protein expression during early development in the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. To model the protein-mediated cell cycle response to UV-irradiation, six batches of embryos were exposed to UVR, monitored for both delays in the first mitotic division and changes in the proteome at two specific developmental time points. Embryos were exposed to or protected from artificial UVR (11.5 W/m2) for 25 or 60 min. These levels of UVR are within the range we have measured in coastal waters between 0.5 and 2 m. Embryos treated with UVR for 60 min cleaved an average of 23.2 min (±1.92 s.e.m.) after UV-protected embryos. Differential protein spot migration between UV-protected and UV-treated embryos was examined at 30 and 90 min post-fertilization using two-dimensional SDS-PAGE (2D GE). A total of 1306 protein spots were detected in all gels, including differences in 171 protein spots (13% of the detected proteome) in UV-treated embryos at 30 min post-fertilization and 187 spots (14%) at 90 min post-fertilization (2-way ANOVA, P=0.03, n =6). The majority of the proteins affected by UVR were subsequently identified using matrix assisted laser desorption ionization tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF–TOF MS). Our results indicate UVR affects proteins from multiple cellular pathways and indicate that the mechanisms involved in UV-stress and UV-induced developmental delay in sea urchin embryos are integrated among multiple pathways for cellular stress, protein turnover and translation, signal transduction, cytoskeletal dynamics, and general metabolism.



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