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J Chromatogr A. 2007 Aug 17;1161(1-2):67-70. Epub 2007 Apr 19.

Metabolically stable isotope labeling prior to electrophoretic protein separation reveals differences in fractional synthesis rates between mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase isoforms.

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ProteoSys AG, Carl-Zeiss-Strasse 51, D-55129 Mainz, Germany.


Living mice were subjected to whole body labeling by intravenous infusion of [(13)C]glucose as the sole carbon source. After 10 h infusion the mice were sacrificed, and liver proteins were separated by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Five spots were found to contain mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) by matrix assisted time of flight mass spectrometry protein identification. By measuring the isotopologue mass distributions of peptide ions, and modeling the (13)C content of the precursor amino acid pool, the fractional synthesis rate of ALDH2 molecules synthesized during the labeling period was determined. One of the five spots was observed to have a five-fold higher fraction of (13)C-containing newly synthesized ALDH2 than the spot with the highest ALDH2 content, and contained more than 60% of newly synthesized ALDH2 although it accounted for less than 20% of the total ALDH2 detected. The total range in the fraction of (13)C-containing proteins between different ALDH2 spots approached 50-fold. The ability to quantitatively characterize different protein isoforms of biological origin for ALDH2 and other proteins from living animals provides new avenues for the exploration of protein function.

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