Acetylation of α-tubulin at Lys-40 is a potential biomarker for cognitive deficits in various neurological disorders. However, this key post-translational modification (PTM) has not been previously studied with mass spectrometry, due to the inadequate distribution of tryptic cleavage sites. Following peptic digestion, a surrogate sequence containing this key PTM site was identified and was found to be stable and quantitatively reproducible. A highly sensitive and specific SISCAPA-LC-MS method for quantitating rat brain tubulin acetylation was developed, validated, and applied, and only required a small amount of tissue (2.2 mg). This workflow includes peptic digestion, stable-isotope dilution, capture with antiacetylated peptide antibody bound on protein G beads, and quantitation using LC-MS. The method allowed a lower limit of quantitation at 2.50 pmol/mg and provided a linear range of 2.50-62.50 pmol/mg. Selectivity, intra and interday precision and accuracy were also validated. This method has been successfully applied in a preclinical study of organophosphate neurotoxicity, and we found that chronic exposure to chlorpyrifos led to a significant and persistent inhibition of brain tubulin acetylation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry