Stable isotope labeling consists of using non-radioactive isotopes as tracers in biochemical systems. The most obvious benefit is the non-hazardous nature of the label and the minimized need for protective measures. There is a cost benefit associated with running a non-radioactive lab in addition to removing the fatigue and stress to personnel that occurs when working with hazardous materials.
The use of stable isotopes in research is well established through studies of naturally occurring isotopes. Migratory patterns of land and water based species are traced using isotope ratios unique to individual feeding areas. Transmission of bacteria can also be followed using natural isotope ratios in host food sources. Just as naturally occurring compounds with a heavy load of stable isotope are not detrimental to organisms, artificially labeled compounds are similarly utilized without altering physiologic or biochemical functions.
Compounds labeled with stable isotopes maintain physico-chemical properties, allowing consistent interactions within biochemical pathways. Labeled products closely mimic natural metabolites, allowing for accurate metabolic assay measurements without introducing increased experimental noise. Methods are applicable to cells as well as higher organisms ranging from insects to mammals.
Labeled compounds are ideal for drug metabolism studies, allowing detection of the whole compound as well as the ability to follow break-down products. When combined with nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectroscopy, a detailed understanding of compound absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion can be quickly and accurately obtained. Similar methods are used to study the toxicity of protein substances, chemicals or drugs.
Host-parasite relationships including those parasites that cause malaria, toxoplasmosis and Leishmaniasis are investigated using labeled compounds. Parasite and host cells are labeled to determine pathways involved in parasite infectivity and potential drug activity. Similar methods are applicable to bacterial and viral studies.
Stable isotope labeling can be undertaken on a custom basis by our synthetic team, to discuss further, please contact us by email or phone (610-337-3762) we will be more than happy to provide a quote on custom synthetic work. All stock chemistries currently synthesized by IsoSciences catalog can be found here.