Production and purification of mixed 14C-labelled peptides derived from plant biomass

John R. Ling, P. Bronwen Cooper, Stephen J. Parker, Ian P. Armstead

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Procedures are described for the production and purification of 14C-labelled peptides of mixed composition, derived from phytomass. Barley seeds (Hordeum vulgare) were germinated and grown in the dark for 6 days. On day 7, the seedlings were exposed to light in a 14CO2 atmosphere for 24 h. The plant leaves were harvested and their water-soluble 14C-labelled proteins extracted. These 14C-proteins were partially digested by sequential incubation with pepsin, α-chymotrypsin and trypsin. The resulting 14C-labelled peptides were separated from contaminating amino acids by elution from columns of copper-Chelex resin, and finally fractionated by gel-filtration chromatography and assigned to groups according to molecular size. The purified 14C-peptides ranged in relative molecular mass up to approximately 5,000, possessed a purity in excess of 97%, and were radiolabelled in all amino acid residues with an average specific radioactivity of 450 Bq/μmol. The methods described can be readily adapted to produce not only mixed 14C-labelled peptides of any required attribute, such as molecular size or ionic charge, but also mixed 14C-proteins of 14C-amino acids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-426
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Labelled Compounds and Radiopharmaceuticals
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 1992


  • biosynthesis
  • 14C-proteins
  • proteolysis
  • gel-filtration
  • 14C-peptides
  • 14C-amino acids
  • C‐amino acids
  • C‐peptides
  • C‐proteins
  • gel‐filtration


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