Send to

Choose Destination
J Proteome Res. 2013 Mar 1;12(3):1067-77. doi: 10.1021/pr301201x. Epub 2013 Feb 15.

Protein digestion: an overview of the available techniques and recent developments.

Author information

AIMMS Division of BioMolecular Analysis, Faculty of Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1083, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Several proteomics approaches are available that are defined by the level (protein or peptide) at which analysis takes place. The most widely applied method still is bottom-up proteomics where the protein is digested into peptides that can be efficiently analyzed with a wide range of LC-MS or MALDI-TOF-MS instruments. Sample preparation for bottom-up proteomics experiments requires several treatment steps in order to get from the protein to the peptide level and can be very laborious. The most crucial step in such approaches is the protein digestion, which is often the bottleneck in terms of time consumption. Therefore, a significant gain in throughput may be obtained by speeding up the digestion process. Current techniques allow for reduction of the digestion time from overnight (~15 h) to minutes or even seconds. This advancement also makes integration into online systems feasible, thereby reducing the number of tedious sample handling steps and the risk of sample loss. In this review, an overview is given of the currently available digestion strategies and recent developments in the acceleration of the digestion process. Additionally, tailored approaches for classes of proteins that pose specific challenges are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center