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J Proteome Res. 2006 Oct;5(10):2611-9.

Statistical analysis of the experimental variation in the proteomic characterization of human plasma by two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis.

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Biosciences Directorate, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 7000 East Avenue, L-452, Livermore, California 94550, USA.


The complexity of human plasma presents a number of challenges to the efficient and reproducible proteomic analysis of differential expression in response to disease. Before individual variation and disease-specific protein biomarkers can be identified from human plasma, the experimental variability inherent in the protein separation and detection techniques must be quantified. We report on the variation found in two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2-D DIGE) analysis of human plasma. Eight aliquots of a human plasma sample were subjected to top-6 highest abundant protein depletion and were subsequently analyzed in triplicate for a total of 24 DIGE samples on 12 gels. Spot-wise standard deviation estimates indicated that fold changes greater than 2 can be detected with a manageable number of replicates in simple ANOVA experiments with human plasma. Mixed-effects statistical modeling quantified the effect of the dyes, and segregated the spot-wise variance into components of sample preparation, gel-to-gel differences, and random error. The gel-to-gel component was found to be the largest source of variation, followed by the sample preparation step. An improved protocol for the depletion of the top-6 high-abundance proteins is suggested, which, along with the use of statistical modeling and future improvements in gel quality and image processing, can further reduce the variation and increase the efficiency of 2-D DIGE proteomic analysis of human plasma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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