Profiling the iron, copper and zinc content in primary neuron and astrocyte cultures by rapid online quantitative size exclusion chromatography-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Metallomics, 2013, 5 (12), pp. 1656 - 1662
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Metals often determine the chemical reactivity of the proteins to which they are bound. Each cell in the body tightly maintains a unique metalloproteomic profile, mostly dependent on function. This paper describes an analytical online flow injection quantitative size exclusion chromatography-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (SEC-ICP-MS) method, which was applied to profiling the metal-binding proteins found in primary cultures of neurons and astrocytes. This method can be conducted using similar amounts of sample to those used for Western blotting (20-150 μg protein), and has a turnaround time of <15 minutes. Metalloprotein standards for Fe (as ferritin), Cu and Zn (as superoxide dismutase-1) were used to construct multi-point calibration curves for online quantification of metalloproteins by SEC-ICP-MS. Homogenates of primary neuron and astrocyte cultures were analysed by SEC-ICP-MS. Online quantification by external calibration with metalloprotein standards determined the mass of metal eluting from the column relative to time (as pg s-1). Total on-column Fe, Cu and Zn detection limits ranged from 0.825 ± 0.005 ng to 13.6 ± 0.7 pg. Neurons and astrocytes exhibited distinct metalloprotein profiles, featuring both ubiquitous and unique metalloprotein species. Separation and detection by SEC-ICP-MS allows appraisal of these metalloproteins in their native state, and online quantification was achieved using this relatively simple external calibration process. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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