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J Biomol Tech. 2014 Dec;25(4):118-26. doi: 10.7171/jbt.14-2504-004.

Evaluation of urinary protein precipitation protocols for the multidisciplinary approach to the study of chronic pelvic pain research network.

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Departments of Anesthesiology and.
Pathology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado 80045, USA.


Standardization of sample collection, shipping, and storage has been a major focus of biorepositories servicing large, multi-institute studies. The standardization of total protein concentration measurements may also provide an important metric for characterizing biospecimens. The measurement of total protein concentration in urine is challenging because of widely variable sample dilutions obtained in the clinic and the lack of a reference matrix for use with a standard curve and blank subtraction. Urinary proteins are therefore typically precipitated and reconstituted in a reference solution before quantitation. We have tested three different methods for protein precipitation and evaluated them using variability in total protein concentration measurement as a metric. The methods were tested on four urine samples ranging from very concentrated to very dilute. A method using a commercially available kit provided the most reproducible results, with average coefficients of variation <10%. Addition of a freeze/thaw did not lead to significant protein loss or additional variability. Samples were titrated and the measurements obtained appeared to be linearly correlated with sample starting volume. This method was applied to analysis of 77 urine biorepository samples and provided reproducible results when the same sample was assayed on different microwell plates.


chemical precipitation; proteomics; quantitation; urine

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