Liquid feeding strategies have been devised with the aim of enhancing grain nutrient availability for livestock. It is characterized by a steeping/soaking period that softens the grains and initiates mobilization of seed storage reserves. The present study uses 2D gel-based proteomics to investigate the role of proteolysis and reduction by thioredoxins over a 48 h steeping period by monitoring protein abundance dynamics in barley-based liquid feed samples supplemented with either protease inhibitors or NADPH-dependent thioredoxin reductase/thioredoxin (NTR/Trx). Several full-length storage proteins were only identified in the water-extractable fraction of feed containing protease inhibitors, illustrating significant inhibition of proteolytic activities arising during the steeping period. Application of functional NTR/Trx to liquid feed reductively increased the solubility of known and potentially new Trx-target proteins, e.g., outer membrane protein X, and their susceptibility to proteolysis. Thus, the NTR/Trx system exhibits important potential as a feed additive to enhance nutrient digestibility in monogastric animals.
- barley proteome
- mass spectrometry
- NADPH-dependent thioredoxin reductase/thioredoxin system
- protease inhibitors