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J Proteome Res. 2009 Sep;8(9):4225-30. doi: 10.1021/pr900188x.

Ultrafast microwave-assisted in-tip digestion of proteins.

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Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Radiochemistry, Leopold-Franzens University, Innsbruck, Austria.


Trypsin was immobilized on glycidylmethacrylate-co-divinylbenzene (GMA/DVB) polymerized in pipet tips for online enzymatic digestion of proteins. The major advantages of in-tip digestion are easy handling and small sample amount required for analysis. Microwave-assisted digestion was applied for highly efficient and time saving proteolysis. Adaption to an automated robotic system allowed fast and reproducible sample treatment. Investigations with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/MS) and liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray-ionization mass spectrometry (LC-ESI/MS) attested high sequence coverages (SCs) for the three standard proteins, myoglobin (Myo, 89%), bovine serum albumin (BSA, 78%) and alpha-casein (alpha-Cas, 83%). Compared to commercially available trypsin tips, clear predominance concerning the digestion performance was achieved. Storageability was tested over a period of several weeks and results showed only little decrease (<5%) of protein sequence coverages. The application of microwave-assisted in-tip digestion (2 min) with full automation by a robotic system allows high-throughput analysis (96 samples within 80 min) and highly effective proteolysis.

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