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J Proteome Res. 2011 Jan 7;10(1):34-45. doi: 10.1021/pr100659e. Epub 2010 Nov 2.

Semi-targeted plasma proteomics discovery workflow utilizing two-stage protein depletion and off-line LC-MALDI MS/MS.

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BG Medicine, Waltham, Massachusetts 02451, USA.


A quantitative proteomics workflow was implemented that provides extended plasma protein coverage by extensive protein depletion in combination with the sensitivity and breadth of analysis of two-dimensional LC-MS/MS shotgun analysis. Abundant proteins were depleted by a two-stage process using IgY and Supermix depletion columns in series. Samples are then extensively fractionated by two-dimensional chromatography with fractions directly deposited onto MALDI plates. Decoupling sample fractionation from mass spectrometry facilitates a targeted MS/MS precursor selection strategy that maximizes measurement of a consistent set of peptides across experiments. Multiplexed stable isotope labeling provides quantification relative to a common reference sample and ensures an identical set of peptides measured in the set of samples (set of eight) combined in a single experiment. The more extensive protein depletion provided by the addition of the Supermix column did not compromise overall reproducibility of the measurements or the ability to reliably detect changes in protein levels between samples. The implementation of this workflow is presented for a case study aimed at generating molecular signatures for prediction of first heart attack.

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