Identification, Quantification, and Functional Aspects of Skeletal Muscle Protein-Carbonylation in Vivo during Acute Oxidative Stress

Reactive oxidative species (ROS) play important roles in cellular signaling but can also modify and often functionally inactivate other biomolecules. Thus, cells have developed effective enzymatic and nonenzymatic strategies to scavenge ROS. However, under oxidative stress, ROS production is able to overwhelm the scavenging systems, increasing the levels of functionally impaired proteins. A major class of irreversible oxidative modifications is carbonylation, which refers to reactive carbonyl-groups. In this investigation, we have studied the production and clearance rates for skeletal muscle proteins in a rat model of acute oxidative stress over a time period of 24 h using a gel-based proteomics approach. Optimized ELISA and Western blots with 10-fold improved sensitivities showed that the carbonylation level was stable at 4 nmol per mg protein 3 h following ROS induction. The carbonylation level then increased 3-fold over 6 h and then remained stable. In total, the oxidative stress changed the steady state levels of 20 proteins and resulted in the carbonylation of 38 skeletal muscle proteins. Carbonylation of these proteins followed diverse kinetics with some proteins being highly carbonylated very quickly, whereas others peaked in the 9 h sample or continued to increase up to 24 h after oxidative stress was induced.