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Stable Isotope Labeling by Amino Acids in Cell Culture (SILAC) - an Introduction for Biologists

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Since its introduction in 2002 ‘stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture’ (SILAC) has become a major tool for quantitative proteomics. Stable isotopes are incorporated into proteins by introduction of labeled amino acids in growth medium. This methodology's compatibility with virtually all cell culture conditions, ease of implementation into existing workflows and the high quality quantitative data that can be obtained have made it the quantitative method of choice for many laboratories. Although originally used for mammalian cell cultures, it has been adapted to a number of organisms including yeast, bacteria, plants and higher organisms. This review will look at the use of SILAC as a key tool in quantitative biology. The purpose of this review is to furnish the reader with a basic understanding of the fundamental principles of SILAC including its implementation, application, bioinformatic tools for its analyses and potential problems that one should be mindful of.

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Keywords: Deuterium; Enzymatic; Escherichia Coli; LC-MS/MS; MALDI-MS; Peptides (iTRAQ); Phosphorylation; Proteolytic Peptides; SILAC; Saccharomyces Cerevisiae; Stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture; Thiol-Specific; Tri-Deuterium; mass spectrometry; proteomics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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  • Current Proteomics research in the emerging field of proteomics is growing at an extremely rapid rate. The principal aim of Current Proteomics is to publish well-timed review articles in this fast-expanding area on topics relevant and significant to the development of proteomics. Current Proteomics is an essential journal for everyone involved in proteomics and related fields in both academia and industry.
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