Freeze-dried plasma proteins are stable at room temperature for at least 1 year

J. Dufresne, T. Hoang, J. Ajambo, A. Florentinus-Mefailoski, P. Bowden and J. Marshall

Clin Proteomics. 2017; 14: 35. Published online 2017 Oct 27. doi: 10.1186/s12014-017-9170-0 

Abstract

Thirty human EDTA plasma samples from male and female subjects ranging in age from 24 to 74 years were collected on ice, processed ice cold and stored frozen at −80 °C, in liquid nitrogen (LN2), or freeze dried and stored at room temperature in a desiccator (FDRT) or freeze dried and stored at −20 °C for 1 year (FD-20). In a separate experiment, EDTA plasma samples were collected onto ice, processed ice cold and maintained on ice ± protease inhibitors versus incubated at room temperature for up to 96 h. Random and independent sampling by liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (LC–ESI–MS/MS), as correlated by the MASCOT, OMSSA, X!TANDEM and SEQUEST algorithms, showed that tryptic peptides from complement component 4B (C4B) were rapidly released in plasma at room temperature. Random sampling by LC–ESI–MS/MS showed that peptides from C4B were undetectable on ice, but peptides were cleaved from the mature C4B protein including NGFKSHALQLNNR within as little as 1 h at room temperature. The frequency and intensity of precursors within ± 3 m/z of the C4B peptide NGFKSHALQLNNR was confirmed by automated targeted analysis where the precursors from MS/MS spectra that correlated to the target sequence were analyzed in SQL/R. The C4B preproprotein was processed at the N terminus to release the mature chain that was cleaved on the carboxyl side of the isoprene C2 domain within a polar C terminal sequence of the mature C4B protein, to reveal the thioester reaction site, consistent with LC–ESI–MS/MS and Western blot. Random sampling showed that proteolytic peptides from complement component C4B were rarely observed with long term storage at − 80 °C in a freezer or in liquid nitrogen (LN2), freeze drying with storage at − 20 °C (FD-20 °C) or freeze drying and storage at room temperature (FDRT). Plasma samples maintained at room temperature (RT) showed at least 10-fold to 100-fold greater frequency of peptide correlation to C4B and measured peptide intensity compared to samples on ice for up to 72 h or stored at − 80 °C, LN2, FDRT or FD-20 °C for up to a year.

Acknowledgements

This research was paid for by the Fonds National de la Recherche, Mobility of Researcher award through Luxembourg Institute of Health (formerly CRP Sante) and a direct grant from the Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg to JGM. We gratefully acknowledge the review and critique of this manuscript by Dr. Fay Betsou and Dr. R.A. Phillips of IBBL.

Funding

This research was paid for by the Fonds National de la Recherche, Mobility of Researcher award through Luxembourg Institute of Health (formerly CRP Sante) and the Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg to JGM.

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