Identification of multiple proteins whose synthetic rates are enhanced by high amino acid levels in rat hepatocytes

Abdul Jaleel, K. Sreekumaran Nair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Amino acids are key regulators of protein synthesis in liver. However, it remains to be determined whether amino acids stimulate synthesis of all or certain specific liver proteins. No techniques are currently available to simultaneously measure synthetic rates of several individual proteins. Here we report studies performed on rat hepatocyte primary cultures in which we used metabolic labeling with [14C]leucine, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DGE), and tandem mass spectrometry to identify proteins that showed increased leucine incorporation when high amino acid levels were present in the media. Rat hepatocytes were isolated by in situ collagenase perfusion, cultured in serum-free medium containing insulin, and incubated for 2, 4, and 8 h in media of standard and high amino acid concentrations. SDS-PAGE and 2DGE were performed to separate proteins from cell lysates. Proteins that consistently showed increased synthesis on triplicate cultures, as detected by phosphorim-aging of gels, were identified by tandom mass spectrometry. The combination of these approaches enabled the detection of 16 specific liver proteins whose synthetic rates were enhanced by increased amino acid concentration. These proteins are involved in specific functions such as translation intiation, protein folding and modification, oxidative phosphorylation, antioxidant defense, signal transduction, and transport, as well as cell motility and tissue integrity. No quantitative changes for any of these proteins were detected by gel staining, indicating that no detectable changes in protein concentration occurred. In contrast, measurable changes in synthetic rates occurred in 16 proteins. In conclusion, amino acids stimulate the synthesis of several liver proteins with important cellular functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E950-E957
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6 49-6
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Hepatocyte culture
  • Liver proteins
  • Metabolic labeling
  • Protein synthesis
  • Proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of multiple proteins whose synthetic rates are enhanced by high amino acid levels in rat hepatocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this