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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2005 Jun;4(6):773-84. Epub 2005 Mar 25.

Optimized normalization for antibody microarrays and application to serum-protein profiling.

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  • 1The Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503, USA.


The measurements of coordinated patterns of protein abundance using antibody microarrays could be used to gain insight into disease biology and to probe the use of combinations of proteins for disease classification. The correct use and interpretation of antibody microarray data requires proper normalization of the data, which has not yet been systematically studied. Therefore we undertook a study to determine the optimal normalization of data from antibody microarray profiling of proteins in human serum specimens. Forty-three serum samples collected from patients with pancreatic cancer and from control subjects were probed in triplicate on microarrays containing 48 different antibodies, using a direct labeling, two-color comparative fluorescence detection format. Seven different normalization methods representing major classes of normalization for antibody microarray data were compared by their effects on reproducibility, accuracy, and trends in the data set. Normalization with ELISA-determined concentrations of IgM resulted in the most accurate, reproducible, and reliable data. The other normalization methods were deficient in at least one of the criteria. Multiparametric classification of the samples based on the combined measurement of seven of the proteins demonstrated the potential for increased classification accuracy compared with the use of individual measurements. This study establishes reliable normalization for antibody microarray data, criteria for assessing normalization performance, and the capability of antibody microarrays for serum-protein profiling and multiparametric sample classification.

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