The single-celled protozoan Trypanosoma brucei spp. is the causative agent of human African trypanosomiasis and nagana in cattle. Quantitative proteomics for the first time has allowed for the characterization of the proteome from several different life stages of the parasite (Butter et al., Mol Cell Proteomics 12:172–179, 2013; Gunasekera et al., BMC Genomics 13:556, 2012; Urbaniak et al., PloS One 7(5):e36619, 2012). To achieve this, stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) (Ong et al., Mol Cell Proteomics 1:376–386, 2002) was adapted to T. brucei spp. cultures. T. brucei cells grown in standard media with dialyzed fetal calf serum containing heavy isotope-labeled amino acids (arginine and lysine) show efficient incorporation of the labeled amino acids into the whole cell proteome (8–12 divisions) and no detectable amino acid conversions. The method can be applied to both of the major life stages of the parasite and in combination with RNAi or gene knockout approaches.
Trypanosoma bruceiSILAC Mass spectrometry Cell culture Cell differentiation
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The authors would like to thank Kapila Gunasekera and Roman Trikin for critically reading the manuscript. The research was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation.
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