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Mass Spectrom Rev. 2005 Nov-Dec;24(6):959-77.

Capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry as a powerful tool in clinical diagnosis and biomarker discovery.

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The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Garscube Estate, Switchback Road, Bearsden, Glasgow G61 1BD, United Kingdom.


Proteome analysis is now emerging as key technology for deciphering biological processes and the discovery of biomarkers for diseases from tissues and body fluids. The complexity and wide dynamic range of protein expression poses a formidable challenge to both peptide separation technologies and mass spectrometry (MS). Here we review the efforts that have been undertaken to date, focussing on capillary electrophoresis coupled to mass spectrometry (CE-MS). We discuss CE-MS from an application point of view evaluating its merits and vices in regard to biomarker discovery and clinical applications. As examples, we present the use of CE-MS for the determination of protein patterns in urine, serum, and other body fluids. Finally, the benefits and limitations of CE-MS for the analysis of proteins in clinical samples are discussed against the background of alternative technologies.

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