Random and independent sampling of endogenous tryptic peptides from normal human EDTA plasma by liquid chromatography micro electrospray ionization and tandem mass spectrometry

Dufresne J., Florentinus-Mefailoski A., Ajambo J., Ferwa A., Bowden P., Marshall J.

Clin Proteomics. 2017 Dec 8;14:41. doi: 10.1186/s12014-017-9176-7. eCollection 2017.


Background

Normal human EDTA plasma samples were collected on ice, processed ice cold, and stored in a freezer at – 80 °C prior to experiments. Plasma test samples from the – 80 °C freezer were thawed on ice or intentionally warmed to room temperature.

Methods

Protein content was measured by CBBR binding and the release of alcohol soluble amines by the Cd ninhydrin assay. Plasma peptides released over time were collected over C18 for random and independent sampling by liquid chromatography micro electrospray ionization and tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) and correlated with X!TANDEM.

Results

Fully tryptic peptides by X!TANDEM returned a similar set of proteins, but was more computationally efficient, than “no enzyme” correlations. Plasma samples maintained on ice, or ice with a cocktail of protease inhibitors, showed lower background amounts of plasma peptides compared to samples incubated at room temperature. Regression analysis indicated that warming plasma to room temperature, versus ice cold, resulted in a ~ twofold increase in the frequency of peptide identification over hours-days of incubation at room temperature. The type I error rate of the protein identification from the X!TANDEM algorithm combined was estimated to be low compared to a null model of computer generated random MS/MS spectra.

Conclusions

The peptides of human plasma were identified and quantified with low error rates by random and independent sampling that revealed 1000s of peptides from hundreds of human plasma proteins from endogenous tryptic peptides.

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