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Proteomics. 2007 Sep;7(18):3404-16.

Combination of peptide OFFGEL fractionation and label-free quantitation facilitated proteomics profiling of extraocular muscle.

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Gene Expression Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany.


Several label-free quantitation strategies have been introduced that obliterate the need for expensive isotopically labeled molecules. However label-free approaches have considerably higher demands in respect of repeatability of sample preparation and fractionation than multiplexing isotope labeling-based strategies. OFFGEL fractionation promises the necessary separation efficiency and repeatability. To test this platform, 12-fraction peptide OFFGEL electrophoresis and online reversed-phase LC connected to a quadrupole TOF mass spectrometer were used to determine differences of the physiological, pathological and biochemical distinct extraocular muscle allotype in comparison to hind-limb muscle. Close to 70% of the peptides separated by OFFGEL electrophoresis were detected only in a single fraction. To determine the separation repeatability of four samples, we compared the ion volumes of multiple peptides deriving from the thick filament-associated protein titin over several fractions and determined a coefficient of variation below 20%. Of the 474 proteins identified, 61 proteins were differently expressed between the two muscle allotypes and were involved in metabolism, muscle contraction, stress response, or gene expression. Several expression differences were validated using immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. We therefore consider peptide OFFGEL fractionation an effective and efficient addition to our label-free quantitative proteomics workflow.

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