on 08-22-201207:37 AM - edited on 10-15-202111:51 AM by AnalyteGuru
Ruan Q, Ji QC, Arnold ME, Humphreys WG, Zhu M. Anal Chem. 2011 Dec 1;83(23):8937-44. Currently, mass spectrometry-based protein bioanalysis is primarily achieved through monitoring the representative peptide(s) resulting from analyte protein digestion. However, this approach is often incapable of differentiating the measurement of protein analyte from its post-translational modifications (PTMs) and/or potential biotransformation (BTX) products. This disadvantage can be overcome by direct measurement of the intact protein analytes. Selected reaction monitoring (SRM) on triple quadrupole mass spectrometers has been used for the direct measurement of intact protein. However, the fragmentation efficiency though the SRM process could be limited in many cases, especially for high molecular weight proteins. In this study, we present a new strategy of intact protein bioanalysis by high-resolution (HR) full scan mass spectrometry using human lysozyme as a model protein. An HR linear ion-trap/Orbitrap mass spectrometer was used for detection. A composite of isotopic peaks from one or multiple charge states can be isolated from the background and used to improve the signal-to-noise ratio. The acquired data were processed by summing extracted ion chromatograms (EIC) of the 10 most intense isotopic ions of octuply protonated lysozyme. Quantitation of the plasma lysozyme was conducted by utilizing high resolving power and an EIC window fitting to the protein molecular weight. An assay with a linear dynamic range from 0.5 to 500 μg/mL was developed with good accuracy and precision. The assay was successfully employed for monitoring the level of endogenous lysozyme and a potential PTM in human plasma. The current instrumentation limitations and potential advantages of this approach for the bioanalysis of large proteins are discussed.