Evaluation of stable isotope labelling strategies for the quantitation of CP4 EPSPS in genetically modified soya

Centre for Chemical and Bioanalytical Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham TW20 0EX, UK.
Analytica chimica acta (Impact Factor: 4.51). 03/2009; 634(1):75-82. DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2008.11.071
Source: PubMed


The introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops into the market has raised a general alertness relating to the control and safety of foods. The applicability of protein separation hyphenated to mass spectrometry to identify the bacterial enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (CP4 EPSPS) protein expressed in GM crops has been previously reported [M.F. Ocana, P.D. Fraser, R.K.P. Patel, J.M. Halket, P.M. Bramley, Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 21 (2007) 319.]. Herein, we investigate the suitability of two strategies that employ heavy stable isotopes, i.e. AQUA and iTRAQ, to quantify different levels of CP4 EPSPS in up to four GM preparations. Both quantification strategies showed potential to determine whether the presence of GM material is above the limits established by the European Union. The AQUA quantification procedure involved protein solubilisation/fractionation and subsequent separation using SDS-PAGE. A segment of the gel in which the protein of interest was located was excised, the stable isotope labeled peptide added at a known concentration and proteolytic digestion initiated. Following recovery of the peptides, on-line separation and detection using LC-MS was carried out. A similar approach was used for the iTRAQ workflow with the exception that proteins were digested in solution and generated tryptic peptides were chemically tagged. Both procedures demonstrated the potential for quantitative detection at 0.5% (w/w) GM soya which is a level below the current European Union's threshold for food-labelling. In this context, a comparison between the two procedures is provided within the present study.

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