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Methods Mol Biol. 2006;328:151-8.

Isotope-coded affinity tags for protein quantification.

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W. M. Keck Foundation Biotechnology Resource Laboratory, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.


An important goal in proteomics is to compare the relative amounts of different proteins in biological samples and to try to correlate these differences with changes in physiological state. The isotopecoded affinity tag technique pioneered in Aebersold's laboratory takes advantage of differential tagging of cysteine residues in proteins with stable isotopes to significantly reduce the complexity of peptide mixtures and increase the number of sequences that are identified in a single tandem mass spectrometry experiment. In this approach, two samples are isotopically labeled (one heavy, one light) through a reactive group that specifically binds to cysteine residues; the samples are combined, separated with chromatography, and analyzed by mass spectrometry. The results are then database searched and a list of hundreds of proteins and their heavy:light ratio is obtained.

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