Stable isotope dilution-based accurate comparative quantification of nitrogen-containing metabolites in Arabidopsis thaliana T87 cells using in vivo (15)N-isotope enrichment

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2005 Jul;69(7):1331-40. doi: 10.1271/bbb.69.1331.


Stable isotope dilution-based comparative quantification of nitrogen-containing metabolites for highly sensitive and selective metabolomics was developed using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) and (15)N-isotope enrichment. We produced metabolically stable isotope-labeled Arabidopsis T87 cells by culturing with (15)N-labeled medium. We found that the growth of cells maintained in (15)N-labeled medium is very similar to the growth in normal medium, as evidenced by cell morphology, doubling time, and measurement of chlorophyll and carotenoid contents. Complete incorporation of (15)N in folate, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), and S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) in T87 cells was accomplished after culturing for 21 d. Accurate comparative quantification of folate, SAM, and SAH was established by means of LC/MS using the isotopomers of the target metabolites as internal standards. The within- and between-run assay coefficients of variation for the folate, SAM, and SAH levels were all less than 8.5%. Stable isotope labeling by nitrogen source in Arabidopsis T87 cell culture provided simple, inexpensive, and accurate amino acid profiling. This interesting new protocol is valuable for the study of dynamic changes in N-compound pools in cultured cells.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / chemistry*
  • Arabidopsis / cytology
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods
  • Folic Acid / analysis
  • Indicator Dilution Techniques / standards
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Nitrogen / analysis*
  • Nitrogen / metabolism
  • Nitrogen Isotopes
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • S-Adenosylhomocysteine / analysis
  • S-Adenosylmethionine / analysis


  • Nitrogen Isotopes
  • S-Adenosylmethionine
  • Folic Acid
  • S-Adenosylhomocysteine
  • Nitrogen