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Anal Chem. 2003 Jul 15;75(14):3596-3605.

High-efficiency on-line solid-phase extraction coupling to 15-150-microm-i.d. column liquid chromatography for proteomic analysis.

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Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99352, USA.


The ability to manipulate and effectively utilize small proteomic samples is important for analyses using liquid chromatography (LC) in combination with mass spectrometry (MS) and becomes more challenging for very low flow rates due to extra column volume effects on separation quality. Here we report on the use of commercial switching valves (150-microm channels) for implementing the on-line coupling of capillary LC columns operated at 10,000 psi with relatively large solid-phase extraction (SPE) columns. With the use of optimized column connections, switching modes, and SPE column dimensions, high-efficiency on-line SPE-capillary and nanoscale LC separations were obtained demonstrating peak capacities of approximately 1000 for capillaries having inner diameters between 15 and 150 microm. The on-line coupled SPE columns increased the sample processing capacity by approximately 400-fold for sample solution volume and approximately 10-fold for sample mass. The proteomic applications of this on-line SPE-capillary LC system were evaluated for analysis of both soluble and membrane protein tryptic digests. Using an ion trap tandem MS it was typically feasible to identify 1100-1500 unique peptides in a 5-h analysis. Peptides extracted from the SPE column and then eluted from the LC column covered a hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity range that included an estimated approximately 98% of all tryptic peptides. The SPE-capillary LC implementation also facilitates automation and enables use of both disposable SPE columns and electrospray emitters, providing a robust basis for automated proteomic analyses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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