Comparison of Heavy Labeled (SIL) Peptide versus SILAC Protein Internal Standards for LC-MS/MS Quantification of Hepatic Drug Transporters

Int J Proteomics. 2014;2014:451510. doi: 10.1155/2014/451510. Epub 2014 Feb 25.


We studied the precision of quantification of organic anion-transporting polypeptide 1B1 (OATP1B1), OATP1B3, OATP2B1, and P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in human livers by surrogate peptide based LC-MS/MS approach using two different internal standards: stable isotope labeled peptide (SIL) versus stable isotope labeled protein (SILAC). The SIL peptides were procured commercially and the SILAC proteins were generated in-house by labeling arginine and/or lysine residues in cells expressing these transporters. Liver tissue (n = 20) was homogenized and the membrane fraction was isolated. The membranes were trypsin digested and the peptides were analyzed using LC-MS/MS under optimized conditions. The precision in the quantification of proteins in three independently trypsin digested samples from each liver was calculated as the standard deviation of the log transformed protein concentration. The precision of the SIL internal standard method was either slightly (P < 0.05, paired t-test) better than that of the SILAC method (OATP1B1, OATP1B3, and P-gp) or not different (OATP2B1). Trypsin digestion, as measured by the response of the labeled peptide derived from the SILAC protein, was consistent across liver samples. These results indicate that when maximum trypsin digestion is ensured, the SIL internal standard method can be used with confidence for quantification of drug transporters.