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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2009 Feb;8(2):316-24. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M800254-MCP200. Epub 2008 Oct 7.

Comparison of isotope-labeled amino acid incorporation rates (CILAIR) provides a quantitative method to study tissue secretomes.

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  • 1Centre for Medical Biomics, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.


Adipose tissue is an endocrine organ involved in regulation of whole-body energy metabolism via storage of lipids and secretion of various peptide hormones (adipokines). We previously characterized the adipose tissue secretome and showed that [(13)C]lysine incorporation into secreted proteins can be used to determine the origin of identified proteins. In the present study we determined the effect of insulin on the secretome by comparing incorporation rates of (13)C-labeled lysine in the presence and absence of insulin. Human visceral adipose tissue from one patient was divided over six dishes. After subsequent washes to remove serum proteins, [(13)C]lysine-containing medium was added. Three dishes also received 60 nm insulin. The other three were controls. After 72 h of culture, media were collected and processed separately, involving concentration by ultrafiltration and fractionation by SDS-PAGE followed by in-gel digestion of excised bands and LC-MS/MS analyses. The obtained spectra were used for database searching and calculation of heavy/light ratios. The three control data sets shared 342 proteins of which 156 were potentially secreted and contained label. The three insulin-derived data sets shared 361 proteins of which 141 were potentially secreted and contained label. After discarding secreted proteins with very low label incorporation, 121 and 113 proteins remained for control and insulin data sets, respectively. The average coefficient of variation for control triplicates was 10.0% and for insulin triplicates was 18.3%. By comparing heavy/light ratios in the absence and presence of insulin we found 24 up-regulated proteins and four down-regulated proteins, and 58 proteins showed no change. Proteins involved in the endoplasmic reticulum stress response and in extracellular matrix remodeling were up-regulated by insulin. In conclusion, comparison of isotope-labeled amino acid incorporation rates (CILAIR) allows quantitative assessment of changes in protein secretion without the need for 100% label incorporation, which cannot be reached in differentiated tissues or cells.

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