A rapid method for quantifying free and bound acetate based on alkylation and GC-MS analysis

Tumanov, S., Bulusu, V., Gottlieb, E. and Kamphorst, J. (2016) A rapid method for quantifying free and bound acetate based on alkylation and GC-MS analysis. Cancer and Metabolism, 4, 17. (doi: 10.1186/s40170-016-0157-5) (PMID:27594997) (PMCID:PMC5009658)

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Background: Acetyl-CoA is a key metabolic intermediate with roles in the production of energy and biomass, as well as in metabolic regulation. It was recently found that acetate is crucial for maintaining acetyl-CoA production in hypoxic cancer cells. However, the availability of free acetate in the tumor environment and how much tumor cells consume remains unknown. Similarly, much is still to be learned about changes in the dynamics and distribution of acetylation in response to tumor-relevant conditions. The analysis of acetate is non-trivial, and to help address these topics, we developed a rapid and robust method for the analysis of both free and bound acetate in biological samples. Results: We developed a sensitive and high-throughput method for the analysis of acetate based on alkylation to its propyl derivative and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The method facilitates simultaneous quantification of both 12C- and 13C-acetate, shows high reproducibility (< 10 % RSD), and has a wide linear range of quantification (2–2000 μM). We demonstrate the method’s utility by measuring free acetate uptake by cultured cancer cells and by quantifying total acetylation (using hydrolysis) in separate cellular compartments. Additionally, we measure free acetate in tissues and bio-fluids and show that there are considerable differences in acetate concentrations between organs in vivo, providing insights into its complex systemic metabolism and availability for various types of tumors. Conclusions: Our approach for the quantification of acetate is straightforward to implement using widely available equipment and reagents, and will aid in in-depth investigation of various aspects of acetate metabolism. It is also readily adaptable to the analysis of formate and short-chain fatty acids, making it highly relevant to the cancer metabolism community.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kamphorst, Dr Jurre and Bulusu, Dr Vinay and Gottlieb, Professor Eyal and Tumanov, Dr Sergey
Authors: Tumanov, S., Bulusu, V., Gottlieb, E., and Kamphorst, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:Cancer and Metabolism
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN (Online):2049-3002
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Cancer and Metabolism 4:17
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
655161The effect of tumour microenvironment on the metabolism of pancreatic cancer cellsJurre KamphorstCancer Research UK (CAN-RES-UK)17728ICS - BEATSON INSTITUTE FOR CANCER RES.
647981CR-UK Centre renewalKaren VousdenCancer Research UK (CAN-RES-UK)18076RI CANCER SCIENCES