on 05-01-201210:45 AM - edited on 10-15-202111:59 AM by Closed Account
Tu C, Li J, Young R, Page BJ, Engler F, Halfon MS, Canty JM Jr, Qu J. Anal Chem. 2011 Jun 15;83(12):4802-13. The plasma proteome holds enormous clinical potential, yet an in-depth analysis of the plasma proteome remains a daunting challenge due to its high complexity and the extremely wide dynamic range in protein concentrations. Furthermore, existing antibody-based approaches for depleting high-abundance proteins are not adaptable to the analysis of the animal plasma proteome, which is often essential for experimental pathology/pharmacology. Here we describe a highly comprehensive method for the investigation of the animal plasma proteome which employs an optimized combinatorial peptide ligand library (CPLL) treatment to reduce the protein concentration dynamic range and a dual-enzyme, dual-activation strategy to achieve high proteomic coverage. The CPLL treatment enriched the lower abundance proteins by >100-fold when the samples were loaded in moderately denaturing conditions with multiple loading-washing cycles. The native and the CPLL-treated plasma were digested in parallel by two enzymes (trypsin and GluC) carrying orthogonal specificities. By performing this differential proteolysis, the proteome coverage is improved where peptides produced by only one enzyme are poorly detectable. Digests were fractionated with high-resolution strong cation exchange chromatography and then resolved on a long, heated nano liquid chromatography column. MS analysis was performed on a linear triple quadrupole/orbitrap with two complementary activation methods (collisionally induced dissociation (CID) and electron transfer dissociation). We applied this optimized strategy to investigate the plasma proteome from swine, a prominent animal model for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). This large-scale analysis results in identification of a total of 3421 unique proteins, spanning a concentration range of 9-10 orders of magnitude. The proteins were identified under a set of commonly accepted criteria, including a precursor mass error of <15 ppm, Xcorr cutoffs, and ≥2 unique peptides at a peptide probability of ≥95% and a protein probability of ≥99%, and the peptide false-positive rate of the data set was 1.8% as estimated by searching the reversed database. CPLL treatment resulted in 55% more identified proteins over those from native plasma; moreover, compared with using only trypsin and CID, the dual-enzyme/activation approach enabled the identification of 2.6-fold more proteins and substantially higher sequence coverage for most individual proteins. Further analysis revealed 657 proteins as significantly associated with CVDs (p < 0.05), which constitute five CVD-related pathways. This study represents the first in-depth investigation of a nonhuman plasma proteome, and the strategy developed here is adaptable to the comprehensive analysis of other highly complex proteomes.