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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2006 Apr;5(4):573-88. Epub 2005 Dec 6.

Quantitative mass spectrometric multiple reaction monitoring assays for major plasma proteins.

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  • 1The Plasma Proteome Institute, Washington, DC 20009-3450, USA.


Quantitative LC-MS/MS assays were designed for tryptic peptides representing 53 high and medium abundance proteins in human plasma using a multiplexed multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) approach. Of these, 47 produced acceptable quantitative data, demonstrating within-run coefficients of variation (CVs) (n = 10) of 2-22% (78% of assays had CV <10%). A number of peptides gave CVs in the range 2-7% in five experiments (10 replicate runs each) continuously measuring 137 MRMs, demonstrating the precision achievable in complex digests. Depletion of six high abundance proteins by immunosubtraction significantly improved CVs compared with whole plasma, but analytes could be detected in both sample types. Replicate digest and depletion/digest runs yielded correlation coefficients (R(2)) of 0.995 and 0.989, respectively. Absolute analyte specificity for each peptide was demonstrated using MRM-triggered MS/MS scans. Reliable detection of L-selectin (measured at 0.67 microg/ml) indicates that proteins down to the microg/ml level can be quantitated in plasma with minimal sample preparation, yielding a dynamic range of 4.5 orders of magnitude in a single experiment. Peptide MRM measurements in plasma digests thus provide a rapid and specific assay platform for biomarker validation, one that can be extended to lower abundance proteins by enrichment of specific target peptides (stable isotope standards and capture by anti-peptide antibodies (SISCAPA)).

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