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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1993 Aug 31;195(1):58-64.

Protein identification by mass profile fingerprinting.

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Department of Biology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (E.T.H.), Z├╝rich.


We have developed an algorithm for identifying proteins at the sub-microgram level without sequence determination by chemical degradation. The protein, usually isolated by one- or two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, is digested by enzymatic or chemical means and the masses of the resulting peptides are determined by mass spectrometry. The resulting mass profile, i.e., the list of the molecular masses of peptides produced by the digestion, serves as a fingerprint which uniquely defines a particular protein. This fingerprint may be used to search the database of known sequences to find proteins with a similar profile. If the protein is not yet sequenced the profile can serve as a unique marker. This provides a rapid and sensitive link between genomic sequences and 2D gel electrophoresis mapping of cellular proteins.

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