Measuring in vivo Protein Synthesis

Project Summary

In clinical medicine and in most research on physiology and patho-physiology, it has been a traditional concept to use the total amount or the concentration of certain substances (proteins or substrates) in a special compartment of the body of a living organism to represent the metabolism or health condition of the host. With the advancement in the accuracy and sensitivity of mass spectrometry techniques, stable isotope tracer has become a widely used tool for in vivo energy and substrate (protein, carbohydrate and fat) metabolism. Stable isotope has the advantages of safety, which allows the metabolism/nutrition investigations conducted in human subjects under various physiology and diseased conditions, such as exercise, pregnancy, burn injury, sepsis or even premature infants. These studies have solved important in vivo metabolic / nutritional questions under normal and/or abnormal physiological conditions. However, a major limitation exists in measuring the rate of in vivo protein synthesis, since the level of stable isotope enrichment cannot be assayed at precursor sites for protein synthesis. The goal of this project is to accurately obtain the in vivo synthesis rate profiles of major proteins in healthy subjects and in patients, which could potentially provide us a new approach in disease diagnosis and studies of disease mechanisms.   

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Claire Ryu1, Jon Jacobs2, Yong-Ming Yu3, David Camp2, Wenzhong Xiao1,3

1. Stanford Genome Technology Center, 2.Pacific Northwest National Lab, 3. Massachusetts General Hospital.

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