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Blood Transfus. 2012 May;10 Suppl 2:s89-100. doi: 10.2450/2012.013S.

High-throughput fractionation of human plasma for fast enrichment of low- and high-abundance proteins.

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Proteomic Core, COBRE CCRD, Rhode Island Hospital and Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.



Fast, cost-effective and reproducible isolation of IgM from plasma is invaluable to the study of IgM and subsequent understanding of the human immune system. Additionally, vast amounts of information regarding human physiology and disease can be derived from analysis of the low abundance proteome of the plasma. In this study, methods were optimized for both the high-throughput isolation of IgM from human plasma, and the high-throughput isolation and fractionation of low abundance plasma proteins.


To optimize the chromatographic isolation of IgM from human plasma, many variables were examined including chromatography resin, mobile phases, and order of chromatographic separations. Purification of IgM was achieved most successfully through isolation of immunoglobulin from human plasma using Protein A chromatography with a specific resin followed by subsequent fractionation using QA strong anion exchange chromatography. Through these optimization experiments, an additional method was established to prepare plasma for analysis of low abundance proteins. This method involved chromatographic depletion of high-abundance plasma proteins and reduction of plasma proteome complexity through further chromatographic fractionation.


Purification of IgM was achieved with high purity as confirmed by SDS-PAGE and IgM-specific immunoblot. Isolation and fractionation of low abundance protein was also performed successfully, as confirmed by SDS-PAGE and mass spectrometry analysis followed by label-free quantitative spectral analysis.


The level of purity of the isolated IgM allows for further IgM-specific analysis of plasma samples. The developed fractionation scheme can be used for high throughput screening of human plasma in order to identify low and high abundance proteins as potential prognostic and diagnostic disease biomarkers.

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