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J Mass Spectrom. 2013 Jul;48(7):779-94. doi: 10.1002/jms.3213.

Through the eye of an electrospray needle: mass spectrometric identification of the major peptides and proteins in the milk of the one-humped camel (Camelus dromedarius).

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Department of Pharmacology, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


The milk of the one-humped camel (Camelus dromedarius) reportedly offers medicinal benefits, perhaps because of its unique bioactive components. Milk proteins were determined by (1) two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and peptide mass mapping and (2) liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) following one-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Over 200 proteins were identified: some known camel proteins including heavy-chain immunoglobulins and others exhibiting regions of exact homology with proteins from other species. Indigenous peptides were also identified following isolation and concentration by two strategies: (1) gel-eluted liquid fraction entrapment electrophoresis and (2) small-scale electrophoretic separation. Extracts were analyzed by LC-MS/MS and peptides identified by matching strategies, by de novo sequencing and by applying a sequence tag tool requiring similarity to the proposed sequence, but not an exact match. A plethora of protein cleavage products including some novel peptides were characterized. These studies demonstrate that camel milk is a rich source of peptides, some of which may serve as nutraceuticals.


Camelus dromedarius; DIGE; camel milk; mass spectrometry; peptides; proteins; proteomics

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