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Electrophoresis. 2012 Feb;33(4):567-74. doi: 10.1002/elps.201100415.

Performance of different separation methods interfaced in the same MS-reflection TOF detector: a comparison of performance between CE versus HPLC for biomarker analysis.

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School of life Sciences, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.


One of the aims in the field of proteomics is the identification of a protein or polypeptide, or a range of these compounds, that could provide pre-symptomatic indication of the onset of a disease. A number of analytical techniques have been employed to try and achieve this end. These techniques have been applied to the complete range of body fluids and tissues that are readily available from clinical studies. Of these sample sources, the urinary low molecular weight peptidome has been shown to reflect changes in the health status of the individual. The alterations that occur in the polypeptide make up of urine, which reflect changes in biological status, are known as biomarkers. To be able to determine these changes no single technique has emerged that can cope with detecting the large number of peptides present and quantifying them over the wide concentration range they exist in. In this investigation, we made use of a single reflectron time of flight (RTOF)-MS analyser to which we first connected a CE system and then a nanoflow HPLC. Two pooled male and female standard urine samples were compared on these systems. Both techniques had similar results in terms of number of peptides detected and the mass range the peptides were detected over. The major differences in terms of biomarker research were the ability in CE to calibrate the migration time of the peptides to allow comparison between samples. In addition, CE was shown not to suffer from carry over from previous samples as was seen in the LC analysis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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