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Proteomics. 2008 Dec;8(23-24):4873-85. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200800421.

Stable isotopic labeling in proteomics.

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Department of Medical Protein Research, VIB, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.


Labeling of proteins and peptides with stable heavy isotopes (deuterium, carbon-13, nitrogen-15, and oxygen-18) is widely used in quantitative proteomics. These are either incorporated metabolically in cells and small organisms, or postmetabolically in proteins and peptides by chemical or enzymatic reactions. Only upon measurement with mass spectrometers holding sufficient resolution, light, and heavy labeled peptide ions or reporter peptide fragment ions segregate and their intensity values are subsequently used for quantification. Targeted use of these labels or mass tags further leads to specific monitoring of diverse aspects of dynamic proteomes. In this review article, commonly used isotope labeling strategies are described, both for quantitative differential protein profiling and for targeted analysis of protein modifications.

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