Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Metabolic de-isotoping!

I stumbled upon this paper while looking for one thing and realized it completely solved another problem I've been having.

The paper in question is this gem from Collin Wetzel et. al., and came out last year about this time.  In this study, the Limbach Group shows a way to improve the quantification of RNA (one of this group's specialties) via heavy O labeling techniques.  In their previous work they found some difficulty distinguishing oxygen isotopes from the natural C isotopes all over the place; particularly in more complex sample matrices.

How'd they clean it up?  They de-isotoped their media!  What?!?  I know!!

They cultured their cells in media that is enriched for C-12 and depleted in C-13! All the sudden there are fewer isotopes to deal with.  It made every step of their analysis easier.  Less mis-identifications, better quan, easier processing.

I wonder if you could apply this to other isotope-noisy systems?

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