Protein sequence comparison of human and non-human primate tooth proteomes

Froment, Carine, et al. “Protein Sequence Comparison of Human and Non-Human Primate Tooth Proteomes.” Journal of Proteomics, Elsevier BV, Jan. 2021, p. 104045. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.jprot.2020.104045.


In the context of human evolution, the study of proteins may overcome the limitation of the high degradation of ancient DNA over time to provide biomolecular information useful for the phylogenetic reconstruction of hominid taxa. In this study, we used a shotgun proteomics approach to compare the tooth proteomes of extant human and non-human primates (gorilla, chimpanzee, orangutan and baboon) in order to search for a panel of peptides able to discriminate between taxa and further help reconstructing the evolutionary relationships of fossil primates. Among the 25 proteins shared by the five genera datasets, we found a combination of peptides with sequence variations allowing to differentiate the hominid taxa in the proteins AHSG, AMBN, APOA1, BGN, C9, COL11A2, COL22A1, COL3A1, DSPP, F2, LUM, OMD, PCOLCE and SERPINA1. The phylogenetic tree confirms the placement of the samples in the appropriate genus branches. Altogether, the results provide experimental evidence that a shotgun proteomics approach on dental tissue has the potential to detect taxonomic variation, which is promising for future investigations of uncharacterized and/or fossil hominid/hominin specimens.