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Fetal calf serum heat inactivation and lipopolysaccharide contamination influence the human T lymphoblast proteome and phosphoproteome

Hazir Rahman12, Muhammad Qasim12, Frank C Schultze1, Michael Oellerich1 and Abdul R Asif1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Chemistry, University Medical Centre, Goettingen, Germany

2 Department of Microbiology, Kohat University of Science and Technology, Kohat, Pakistan

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Proteome Science 2011, 9:71  doi:10.1186/1477-5956-9-71

Published: 15 November 2011



The effects of fetal calf serum (FCS) heat inactivation and bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) contamination on cell physiology have been studied, but their effect on the proteome of cultured cells has yet to be described. This study was undertaken to investigate the effects of heat inactivation of FCS and LPS contamination on the human T lymphoblast proteome. Human T lymphoblastic leukaemia (CCRF-CEM) cells were grown in FCS, either non-heated, or heat inactivated, having low (< 1 EU/mL) or regular (< 30 EU/mL) LPS concentrations. Protein lysates were resolved by 2-DE followed by phospho-specific and silver nitrate staining. Differentially regulated spots were identified by nano LC ESI Q-TOF MS/MS analysis.


A total of four proteins (EIF3M, PRS7, PSB4, and SNAPA) were up-regulated when CCRF-CEM cells were grown in media supplemented with heat inactivated FCS (HE) as compared to cells grown in media with non-heated FCS (NHE). Six proteins (TCPD, ACTA, NACA, TCTP, ACTB, and ICLN) displayed a differential phosphorylation pattern between the NHE and HE groups. Compared to the low concentration LPS group, regular levels of LPS resulted in the up-regulation of three proteins (SYBF, QCR1, and SUCB1).


The present study provides new information regarding the effect of FCS heat inactivation and change in FCS-LPS concentration on cellular protein expression, and post-translational modification in human T lymphoblasts. Both heat inactivation and LPS contamination of FCS were shown to modulate the expression and phosphorylation of proteins involved in basic cellular functions, such as protein synthesis, cytoskeleton stability, oxidative stress regulation and apoptosis. Hence, the study emphasizes the need to consider both heat inactivation and LPS contamination of FCS as factors that can influence the T lymphoblast proteome.

CCRF-CEM cells; FCS heat inactivation; LPS; proteome; phosphoproteome