Traditional methods for phenotyping skeletal muscle (e.g., immunohistochemistry) are labor-intensive and ill-suited to multixplex analysis, i.e.
, assays must be performed in a series. Addressing these concerns represents a largely unmet research need but more comprehensive parallel analysis of myofibrillar proteins could advance knowledge regarding age- and activity-dependent changes in human muscle. We report a label-free, semi-automated and time efficient LC-MS proteomic workflow for phenotyping the myofibrillar proteome. Application of this workflow in old and young as well as trained and untrained human skeletal muscle yielded several novel observations that were subsequently verified by multiple reaction monitoring (MRM). We report novel data demonstrating that human ageing is associated with lesser myosin light chain 1 content and greater myosin light chain 3 content, consistent with an age-related reduction in type II muscle fibers. We also disambiguate conflicting data regarding myosin regulatory light chain, revealing that age-related changes in this protein more closely reflect physical activity status than ageing per se
. This finding reinforces the need to control for physical activity levels when investigating the natural process of ageing. Taken together, our data confirm and extend knowledge regarding age- and activity-related phenotypes. In addition, the MRM transitions described here provide a methodological platform that can be fine-tuned to suite multiple research needs and thus advance myofibrillar phenotyping.
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