Metaproteomics of host-microbiome interfaces comprises the analysis of complex mixtures of bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses in combination with its host cells. Microbial niches can be found all over the host including the skin, oral cavity, and the intestine and are considered to be essential for the homeostasis. The complex interactions between the host and diverse commensal microbiota are poorly characterized while of great interest as dysbiosis is associated with the development of various inflammatory and metabolic diseases. The metaproteomics workflows to study these interfaces are currently being established, and many challenges remain. The major challenge is the large diversity in species composition that make up the microbiota, which results in complex samples that require extended mass spectrometry analysis time. In addition, current database search strategies are not developed to the size of the search space required for unbiased microbial protein identification.Here, we describe a workflow for the proteomics analysis of microbial niches with a focus on intestinal mucus layer. We will cover step-by-step the sample collection, sample preparation, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, and data analysis.
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