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Methods Mol Biol. 2011;753:93-115. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-148-2_7.

Production and use of stable isotope-labeled proteins for absolute quantitative proteomics.

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  • 1CEA, DSV, iRTSV, Laboratoire d'Etude de la Dynamique des Protéomes, Grenoble, France.


In the field of analytical chemistry, stable isotope dilution assays are extensively used in combination with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) to provide confident quantification results. Over the last decade, the principle of isotope dilution has been adopted by the proteomic community in order to accurately quantify proteins in biological samples. In these experiments, a protein's concentration is deduced from the ratio between the MS signal of a tryptic peptide and that of a stable isotope-labeled analog, which serves as an internal standard. The first isotope dilution standards introduced in proteomics were chemically synthesized peptides incorporating a stable isotope-tagged amino acid. These isotopically labeled peptide standards, which are currently widely used, are generally added to samples after protein isolation and digestion. Thus, if protein enrichment is necessary, they do not allow correction for protein losses that may occur during sample pre-fractionation, nor do they allow the tryptic digestion yield to be taken into account. To reduce these limitations we have developed the PSAQ (Protein Standard Absolute Quantification) strategy using full-length stable isotope-labeled proteins as quantification standards. These standards and the target proteins share identical biochemical properties. This allows standards to be spiked into samples at an early stage of the analytical process. Thanks to this possibility, the PSAQ method provides highly accurate quantification results, including for samples requiring extensive biochemical pre-fractionation. In this chapter, we describe the production of full-length stable isotope-labeled proteins (PSAQ standards) using cell-free expression devices. The purification and quality control of protein standards, crucial for good-quality and accurate measurements, are also detailed. Finally, application of the PSAQ method to a typical protein quantification assay is presented.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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