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Anal Chem. 1997 Dec 1;69(23):4741-50.

Identification of the components of simple protein mixtures by high-accuracy peptide mass mapping and database searching.

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Protein & Peptide Group, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg, Germany.


Peptide mass mapping by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) followed by database searching with the set of measured peptide masses is now a powerful method for the identification of pure proteins. Protein mixtures--such as frequently occur due to comigration in polyacrylamide gel bands--have hitherto required protein sequencing. Here we demonstrate that such protein bands can also be analyzed by peptide mass mapping alone. Database searching with the complete list of peptide masses determined by delayed-extraction MALDI mass spectrometry with a mass error of less than 30 ppm retrieves the most prominent protein in a mixture. In a second step, the protein identity is further confirmed by matching as many of the measured peptide masses as possible to the retrieved amino acid sequence. Peptide masses remaining after this "second pass search" are searched again to identify the next component in the protein mixture. This iterative process is repeated until all major ion signals are accounted for. Protein mixtures consisting of two or more individual components in a single gel band can be analyzed, further increasing the general applicability of MALDI peptide mapping for protein identification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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