The dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and its anatomically and functionally associated spinal nerve and ventral and dorsal roots are important components of the peripheral sensory-motor system in mammals. The cells within these structures use a number of peptides as intercellular signaling molecules. We performed a variety of mass spectrometry (MS)-based characterizations of peptides contained within and secreted from these structures, and from isolated and cultured DRG cells. Liquid chromatography-Fourier transform MS was utilized in DRG and nerve peptidome analysis. In total, 2724 peptides from 296 proteins were identified in tissue extracts. Neuropeptides are among those detected, including calcitonin gene-related peptide I, little SAAS, and known hemoglobin-derived peptides. Solid phase extraction combined with direct matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight MS was employed to investigate the secretome of these structures. A number of peptides were detected in the releasate from semi-intact preparations of DRGs and associated nerves, including neurofilament- and myelin basic protein-related peptides. A smaller set of analytes was observed in releasates from cultured DRG neurons. The peptide signals observed in the releasates have been mass-matched to those characterized and identified in homogenates of entire DRGs and associated nerves. This data AIDS our understanding of the chemical composition of the mammalian peripheral sensory-motor system, which is involved in key physiological functions such as nociception, thermoreception, itch sensation, and proprioception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2051-2061
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Dorsal root ganglia
  • Peptidomics
  • Peripheral sensory-motor system
  • Secretomics
  • Spinal nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Spectroscopy


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