Deletion of Genes Encoding Arginase Improves Use of "Heavy" Isotope-Labeled Arginine for Mass Spectrometry in Fission Yeast

Weronika E Borek, Juan Zou, Juri Rappsilber, Kenneth E Sawin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The use of "heavy" isotope-labeled arginine for stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) mass spectrometry in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe is hindered by the fact that under normal conditions, arginine is extensively catabolized in vivo, resulting in the appearance of "heavy"-isotope label in several other amino acids, most notably proline, but also glutamate, glutamine and lysine. This "arginine conversion problem" significantly impairs quantification of mass spectra. Previously, we developed a method to prevent arginine conversion in fission yeast SILAC, based on deletion of genes involved in arginine catabolism. Here we show that although this method is indeed successful when 13C6-arginine (Arg-6) is used for labeling, it is less successful when 13C615N4-arginine (Arg-10), a theoretically preferable label, is used. In particular, we find that with this method, "heavy"-isotope label derived from Arg-10 is observed in amino acids other than arginine, indicating metabolic conversion of Arg-10. Arg-10 conversion, which severely complicates both MS and MS/MS analysis, is further confirmed by the presence of 13C515N2-arginine (Arg-7) in arginine-containing peptides from Arg-10-labeled cells. We describe how all of the problems associated with the use of Arg-10 can be overcome by a simple modification of our original method. We show that simultaneous deletion of the fission yeast arginase genes car1+ and aru1+ prevents virtually all of the arginine conversion that would otherwise result from the use of Arg-10. This solution should enable a wider use of heavy isotope-labeled amino acids in fission yeast SILAC.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0129548
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Early online date15 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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