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Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2002;16(22):2083-8.

Identification of proteins in human cerebrospinal fluid using liquid-phase isoelectric focusing as a prefractionation step followed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry.

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Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Experimental Neuroscience Section, Göteborg University, Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Mölndal, Sweden.


Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is in close proximity to the brain and changes in the protein composition of CSF may be indicative of altered brain protein expression in neurodegenerative disorders. Analysis of brain-specific proteins in CSF is complicated by the fact that most CSF proteins are derived from the plasma and tend to obscure less abundant proteins. By adopting a prefractionation step prior to two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE), less abundant proteins are enriched and can be detected in complex proteomes such as CSF. We have developed a method in which liquid-phase isoelectric focusing (IEF) is used to prefractionate individual CSF samples; selected IEF fractions are then analysed on SYPRO-Ruby-stained 2-D gels, with final protein identification by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOFMS). To optimise the focusing of the protein spots on the 2-D gel, the ampholyte concentration in liquid-phase IEF was minimised and the focusing time in the first dimension was increased. When comparing 2-D gels from individual prefractionated and unfractionated CSF samples it is evident that individual protein spots are larger and contain more protein after prefractionation of CSF. Generally, more protein spots were also detected in the 2-D gels from prefractionated CSF compared with direct 2-DE separations of CSF. Several proteins, including cystatin C, IgM-kappa, hemopexin, acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase-alpha, and alpha-1-acid glycoprotein, were identified in prefractionated CSF but not in unfractionated CSF. Low abundant forms of posttranslationally modified proteins, e.g. alpha-1-acid glycoprotein and alpha-2-HS glycoprotein, can be enriched, thus better resolved and detected on the 2-D gel. Liquid-phase IEF, as a prefractionation step prior to 2-DE, reduce sample complexity, facilitate detection of less abundant protein components, increases the protein loads and the protein amount in each gel spot for MALDI-MS analysis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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