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J Proteomics. 2012 Mar 16;75(6):1966-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2011.12.034. Epub 2012 Jan 5.

A rapid method for capture and identification of immunogenic proteins in Bordetella pertussis enriched membranes fractions: a fast-track strategy applicable to other microorganisms.

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Division of Bacterial Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.


Mass spectrometry (MS) coupled with 1-D and 2-D electrophoresis can be utilized to detect and identify immunogenic proteins, but these methods are laborious and time-consuming. We describe an alternative, simple, rapid gel-free strategy to identify multiple immunogenic proteins from Bordetella pertussis (Bp). It couples immunoprecipitation to nano liquid chromatography- tandem mass spectrometry (IP-nLC-MS/MS) and is significantly both time- and labor-saving. We developed a gel-free magnetic bead-based immunoprecipitation (IP) method using different NP-40/PBS concentrations in which solubilized proteins of Bp Tohama I membrane fractions were precipitated with polyclonal rabbit anti-Bp whole cell immune sera. Immune complexes were analyzed by MS and Scaffold analysis (>95% protein identification probability). Total immunoproteins identified were 50, 63 and 49 for 0.90%, 0.45% and 0.22% NP-40/PBS buffer concentrations respectively. Known Bp proteins identified included pertactin, serotype 2 fimbrial subunit and filamentous hemagglutinin. As proof of concept that this gel-free protein immunoprecipitation method enabled the capture of multiple immunogenic proteins, IP samples were also analyzed by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting. Bypassing gels and subjecting immunoprecipitated proteins directly to MS is a simple and rapid antigen identification method with relatively high throughput. IP-nLC-MS/MS provides a novel alternative approach for current methods used for the identification of immunogenic proteins.

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