In this new study, a scientific team led by Pandolfi lab members John Clohessy, PhD, and Markus Reschke, PhD, examined the ribosome on a large scale to get a clearer picture of the relationship and interactions between ribosomes and the associated proteins required for efficient and correct translation of messenger RNA (mRNA).
"We wanted to find out what was happening in the ribosome on a global scale," explains Clohessy. "So we incorporated into our analysis those proteins that associate with either the ribosome itself or with the mRNA being translated, and which could represent important regulators of translation."
Until recently a lack of high-throughput ribosomal analysis has limited researchers' abilities to characterize the ribosomal proteome, which consists of the ribosome itself and a host of other proteins that interact with this cellular machine to regulate translation. In this new study, the scientists optimized and adapted a SILAC-based mass spectrometry approach to probe this complex microscopic structure through the analysis of far more data than was ever available before.
An acronym for stable isotopic labeling by amino acids in cell culture, SILAC utilizes non-radioactive isotope labeling to detect quantitative differences in protein abundance among cell samples. "A SILAC-based approach offers an elegant way of comparing two different cellular populations," explains Reschke. "The metabolic incorporation into the proteins of amino acids that have been differentially labeled with carbon and nitrogen isotopes results in a mass shift of the corresponding peptides, and it is this shift that can be detected by a mass spectrometer.
"The beauty of this system is that you're keeping the cells in their natural environment, you're simply substituting one amino acid with another," he adds. "This enables you to conduct a direct comparison without other chemical modifications."
|Contact: Bonnie Prescott|
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center