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J Mass Spectrom. 2012 Oct;47(10):1353-63. doi: 10.1002/jms.3106.

PSAQ™ standards for accurate MS-based quantification of proteins: from the concept to biomedical applications.

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CEA, IRTSV, Biologie à Grande Echelle, F-38054, Grenoble, France.


Absolute protein quantification, i.e. determining protein concentrations in biological samples, is essential to our understanding of biological and physiopathological phenomena. Protein quantification methods based on the use of antibodies are very effective and widely used. However, over the last ten years, absolute protein quantification by mass spectrometry has attracted considerable interest, particularly for the study of systems biology and as part of biomarker development. This interest is mainly linked to the high multiplexing capacity of MS analysis, and to the availability of stable-isotope-labelled standards for quantification. This article describes the details of how to produce, control the quality and use a specific type of standard: Protein Standard Absolute Quantification (PSAQ™) standards. These standards are whole isotopically labelled proteins, analogues of the proteins to be assayed. PSAQ standards can be added early during sample treatment, thus they can correct for protein losses during sample prefractionation and for incomplete sample digestion. Because of this, quantification of target proteins is very accurate and precise using these standards. To illustrate the advantages of the PSAQ method, and to contribute to the increase in its use, selected applications in the biomedical field are detailed here.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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