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Electrophoresis. 2005 Jul;26(14):2823-34.

Direct targeting of human plasma for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization and analysis of plasma proteins by time of flight-mass spectrometry.

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Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Ehime University, Matsuyama, Japan.


A method to analyze human plasma proteins without fractionation, directly applying a plasma-matrix mixture on the target plate of a matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight-mass spectrometer (MALDI-TOF-MS), has been described. Peaks of ionized plasma proteins could not be detected applying a mixture of an undiluted plasma sample and a matrix solution, but they appeared when the plasma was diluted before mixing with the matrix. Tenfold diluted plasma provided well-resolved protein peaks in the m/z range from 4000 to 30,000. The addition of a simple post-crystallization washing procedure performed on the target plate further improved the quality of mass spectra. We numbered 58 peaks in the range of 4-160 kDa and 32 out of which were assigned to the plasma protein species which have been reported. Especially high sensitivity and resolution were obtained in the region < 30 kDa, where multiple isoforms of apolipoprotein A-I, apolipoprotein A-II, apolipoprotein C-I, apolipoprotein C-II, apolipoprotein C-III, and transthyretin could be assigned. Various post-translational modifications are involved in the isoforms, e.g., proteolytic cleavage, glycosylation and chemical modifications. This method will become complementary with the present electrophoretic techniques, especially for the analysis of low-molecular-mass proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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