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Electrophoresis. 2008 Nov;29(20):4158-68. doi: 10.1002/elps.200800007.

Analysis of high molecular mass proteins larger than 150 kDa using cyanogen bromide cleavage and conventional 2-DE.

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Department of Biomarker' Research and Validation, bioMérieux, Marcy l'Etoile, France.


Proteomic approaches including high-resolution 2-DE are providing the tools needed to discover disease-associated biomarkers in complex biological samples. Although 2-DE is an extremely powerful approach to analyze the proteome, the separation of proteins with extreme molecular masses still remains an issue requiring improvement. Because high molecular mass (HMM) proteins larger than 150 kDa have already been observed to be differentially expressed in several pathologies such as cancer, we developed an original strategy to analyze this part of the proteome that is not easily separated by 2-DE in polyacrylamide gels. This strategy is based on the 2-DE separation of cyanogen bromide (CNBr) fragments of purified HMM protein fractions, and combines techniques including SEC fractionation, TCA precipitation, CNBr cleavage, 2-DE and MS analysis. The method was first tested on a model protein, the BSA. Preliminary results obtained using colonic tissues led to the identification of six HMM proteins with M(r) comprised between 163 and 533 kDa in their reduced state. These results demonstrated that our CNBr/2-DE approach should provide a powerful tool for identification of new biomarkers larger than 150 kDa.

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