Highly Reproducible Automated Proteomics Sample Preparation Workflow for Quantitative Mass Spectrometry.
ABSTRACT: Sample preparation for protein quantification by mass spectrometry requires multiple processing steps including denaturation, reduction, alkylation, protease digestion, and peptide cleanup. Scaling these procedures for the analysis of numerous complex biological samples can be tedious and time-consuming, as there are many liquid transfer steps and timed reactions where technical variations can be introduced and propagated. We established an automated sample preparation workflow with a total processing time for 96 samples of 5 h, including a 2 h incubation with trypsin. Peptide cleanup is accomplished by online diversion during the LC/MS/MS analysis. In a selected reaction monitoring (SRM) assay targeting 6 plasma biomarkers and spiked ?-galactosidase, mean intraday and interday cyclic voltammograms (CVs) for 5 serum and 5 plasma samples over 5 days were <20%. In a highly multiplexed SRM assay targeting more than 70 proteins, 90% of the transitions from 6 plasma samples repeated on 3 separate days had total CVs below 20%. Similar results were obtained when the workflow was transferred to a second site: 93% of peptides had CVs below 20%. An automated trypsin digestion workflow yields uniformly processed samples in less than 5 h. Reproducible quantification of peptides was observed across replicates, days, instruments, and laboratory sites, demonstrating the broad applicability of this approach.
Project description:Selected reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (SRM-MS) is a sensitive and accurate method for the quantification of targeted proteins in biological specimens. However, the sample throughput and reliability of this technique is limited by the complexity of sample preparation, as well as instrumentation and data processing. Modern robotic equipment allows for rapid and accurate processing of large number of samples and makes SRM-MS assay applicable in epidemiological studies. Herein, we describe an automated sample processing platform developed in the context of an SRM-MS protocol for the assay of complement factor H protein and its variants in human plasma. We report detailed performance data on plasma digestion, sample cleanup and optimized robotic handling implemented on a Biomek® NXp Workstation. Method validation was assessed with isotopically labeled peptide standards and had high reproducibility of intra-day assay (CVs from 2.7 to 17.5% with median CV of 5.3%) and inter-day assay (CVs from 4.8 to 17.6 with median CV of 7.2%) for all peptides.
Project description:Stable isotope-labeled standard (SIS) peptides are used as internal standards in targeted proteomics to provide robust protein quantification, which is required in clinical settings. However, SIS peptides are typically added post trypsin digestion and, as the digestion efficiency can vary significantly between peptides within a protein, the accuracy and precision of the assay may be compromised. These drawbacks can be remedied by a new class of internal standards introduced by the Human Protein Atlas project, which are based on SIS recombinant protein fragments called SIS PrESTs. SIS PrESTs are added initially to the sample and SIS peptides are released on trypsin digestion. The SIS PrEST technology is promising for absolute quantification of protein biomarkers but has not previously been evaluated in a clinical setting. An automated and scalable solid phase extraction workflow for desalting and enrichment of plasma digests was established enabling simultaneous preparation of up to 96 samples. Robust high-precision quantification of 13 apolipoproteins was achieved using a novel multiplex SIS PrEST-based LC-SRM/MS Tier 2 assay in non-depleted human plasma. The assay exhibited inter-day coefficients of variation between 1.5% and 14.5% (median = 3.5%) and was subsequently used to investigate the effects of omega-3 carboxylic acids (OM3-CA) and fenofibrate on these 13 apolipoproteins in human plasma samples from a randomized placebo-controlled trial, EFFECT I (NCT02354976). No significant changes were observed in the OM3-CA arm, whereas treatment with fenofibrate significantly increased apoAII and reduced apoB, apoCI, apoE and apoCIV levels. The reduction in apoCIV following fenofibrate treatment is a novel finding. The study demonstrates that SIS PrESTs can facilitate the generation of robust multiplexed biomarker Tier 2 assays for absolute quantification of proteins in clinical studies.
Project description:Quantification of cardiac troponin I (cTnI), a protein biomarker used for diagnosing myocardial infarction, has been achieved in native patient plasma based on an immunoaffinity enrichment strategy and isotope dilution (ID) liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method. The key steps in the workflow involved isolating cTnI from plasma using anti-cTnI antibody coupled to magnetic nanoparticles, followed by an enzymatic digestion with trypsin. Three tryptic peptides from cTnI were monitored and used for quantification by ID-LC-MS/MS via multiple reaction monitoring (MRM). Measurements were performed using a matrix-matched calibration system. NIST SRM 2921 Human Cardiac Troponin Complex acted as the calibrant and a full-length isotopically labeled protein analog of cTnI was used as an internal standard. The method was successfully demonstrated on five patient plasma samples, with cTnI concentrations measuring between 4.86 ?g/L and 11.3 ?g/L (signifying moderate myocardial infarctions). LC-MS/MS measurement precision was validated by three unique peptides from cTnI and two MRM transitions per peptide. Relative standard deviation (CV) from the five plasma samples was determined to be ?14.3%. This study has demonstrated that quantification of cTnI in native plasma from myocardial infarction patients can be achieved based on an ID-LC-MS/MS method. The development of an ID-LC-MS/MS method for cTnI in plasma is a first step for future certification of matrix-based reference materials, which may be used to help harmonize discordant cTnI clinical assays. Graphical abstract A schematic of the workflow for measuring cardiac troponin I (cTnI), a low-abundant protein biomarker used for diagnosing myocardial infarction, in human plasma by isotope-dilution LC-MS/MS analysis.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>To facilitate the transition of MALDI-MS Imaging (MALDI-MSI) from basic science to clinical application, it is necessary to analyze formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues. The aim is to improve in situ tryptic digestion for MALDI-MSI of FFPE samples and determine if similar results would be reproducible if obtained from different sites.<h4>Experimental design</h4>FFPE tissues (mouse intestine, human ovarian teratoma, tissue microarray of tumor entities sampled from three different sites) are prepared for MALDI-MSI. Samples are coated with trypsin using an automated sprayer then incubated using deliquescence to maintain a stable humid environment. After digestion, samples are sprayed with CHCA using the same spraying device and analyzed with a rapifleX MALDI Tissuetyper at 50 µm spatial resolution. Data are analyzed using flexImaging, SCiLS, and R.<h4>Results</h4>Trypsin application and digestion are identified as sources of variation and loss of spatial resolution in the MALDI-MSI of FFPE samples. Using the described workflow, it is possible to discriminate discrete histological features in different tissues and enabled different sites to generate images of similar quality when assessed by spatial segmentation and PCA.<h4>Conclusions and clinical relevance</h4>Spatial resolution and site-to-site reproducibility can be maintained by adhering to a standardized MALDI-MSI workflow.
Project description:To design a robust quantitative proteomics study, an understanding of both the inherent heterogeneity of the biological samples being studied as well as the technical variability of the proteomics methods and platform is needed. Additionally, accurately identifying the technical steps associated with the largest variability would provide valuable information for the improvement and design of future processing pipelines. We present an experimental strategy that allows for a detailed examination of the variability of the quantitative LC-MS proteomics measurements. By replicating analyses at different stages of processing, various technical components can be estimated and their individual contribution to technical variability can be dissected. This design can be easily adapted to other quantitative proteomics pipelines. Herein, we applied this methodology to our label-free workflow for the processing of human brain tissue. For this application, the pipeline was divided into four critical components: Tissue dissection and homogenization (extraction), protein denaturation followed by trypsin digestion and SPE cleanup (digestion), short-term run-to-run instrumental response fluctuation (instrumental variance), and long-term drift of the quantitative response of the LC-MS/MS platform over the 2 week period of continuous analysis (instrumental stability). From this analysis, we found the following contributions to variability: extraction (72%) >> instrumental variance (16%) > instrumental stability (8.4%) > digestion (3.1%). Furthermore, the stability of the platform and its suitability for discovery proteomics studies is demonstrated.
Project description:Selected reaction monitoring (SRM) is a mass spectrometry method with documented ability to quantify proteins accurately and reproducibly using labeled reference peptides. However, the use of labeled reference peptides becomes impractical if large numbers of peptides are targeted and when high flexibility is desired when selecting peptides. We have developed a label-free quantitative SRM workflow that relies on a new automated algorithm, Anubis, for accurate peak detection. Anubis efficiently removes interfering signals from contaminating peptides to estimate the true signal of the targeted peptides. We evaluated the algorithm on a published multisite data set and achieved results in line with manual data analysis. In complex peptide mixtures from whole proteome digests of Streptococcus pyogenes we achieved a technical variability across the entire proteome abundance range of 6.5-19.2%, which was considerably below the total variation across biological samples. Our results show that the label-free SRM workflow with automated data analysis is feasible for large-scale biological studies, opening up new possibilities for quantitative proteomics and systems biology.
Project description:The sample condition is an important factor in urine proteomics with stability and accuracy. However, a general protocol of urine protein preparation in mass spectrometry analysis has not yet been established. Here, we proposed a workflow for optimized sample preparation based on methanol/chloroform (M/C) precipitation and in-solution trypsin digestion in LC-MS/MS-based urine proteomics. The urine proteins prepared by M/C precipitation showed around 80% of the protein recovery rate. The samples showed the largest number of identified proteins, which were over 1000 on average compared with other precipitation methods in LC-MS/MS-based urine proteomics. For further improvement of the workflow, the essences were arranged in protein dissolving and trypsin digestion step for the extraction of urine proteins. Addition of Ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) dramatically enhanced the dissolution of protein and promoted the trypsin activity in the digestion step because the treatment increased the number of identified proteins with less missed cleavage sites. Eventually, an optimized workflow was established by a well-organized strategy for daily use in the LC-MS/MS-based urine proteomics. The workflow will be of great help for several aims based on urine proteomics approaches, such as diagnosis and biomarker discovery.
Project description:Development of new biomarkers needs to be significantly accelerated to improve diagnostic, prognostic, and toxicity monitoring as well as therapeutic follow-up. Biomarker evaluation is the main bottleneck in this development process. Selected Reaction Monitoring (SRM) combined with stable isotope dilution has emerged as a promising option to speed this step, particularly because of its multiplexing capacities. However, analytical variabilities because of upstream sample handling or incomplete trypsin digestion still need to be resolved. In 2007, we developed the PSAQ™ method (Protein Standard Absolute Quantification), which uses full-length isotope-labeled protein standards to quantify target proteins. In the present study we used clinically validated cardiovascular biomarkers (LDH-B, CKMB, myoglobin, and troponin I) to demonstrate that the combination of PSAQ and SRM (PSAQ-SRM) allows highly accurate biomarker quantification in serum samples. A multiplex PSAQ-SRM assay was used to quantify these biomarkers in clinical samples from myocardial infarction patients. Good correlation between PSAQ-SRM and ELISA assay results was found and demonstrated the consistency between these analytical approaches. Thus, PSAQ-SRM has the capacity to improve both accuracy and reproducibility in protein analysis. This will be a major contribution to efficient biomarker development strategies.
Project description:Heterogeneity in composition is inherent in all cell populations, even those containing a single cell type. Single-cell proteomics characterization of cell heterogeneity is currently achieved by antibody-based technologies, which are limited by the availability of high-quality antibodies. Herein we report a simple, easily implemented, mass spectrometry (MS)-based targeted proteomics approach, termed cLC-SRM (carrier-assisted liquid chromatography coupled to selected reaction monitoring), for reliable multiplexed quantification of proteins in low numbers of mammalian cells. We combine a new single-tube digestion protocol to process low numbers of cells with minimal loss together with sensitive LC-SRM for protein quantification. This single-tube protocol builds upon trifluoroethanol digestion and further minimizes sample losses by tube pretreatment and the addition of carrier proteins. We also optimized the denaturing temperature and trypsin concentration to significantly improve digestion efficiency. cLC-SRM was demonstrated to have sufficient sensitivity for reproducible detection of most epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway proteins expressed at levels ?30?000 and ?3000 copies per cell for 10 and 100 mammalian cells, respectively. Thus, cLC-SRM enables reliable quantification of low to moderately abundant proteins in less than 100 cells and could be broadly useful for multiplexed quantification of important proteins in small subpopulations of cells or in size-limited clinical samples. Further improvements of this method could eventually enable targeted single-cell proteomics when combined with either SRM or other emerging ultrasensitive MS detection.
Project description:BACKGROUND:If liquid-chromatography-multiple-reaction-monitoring mass spectrometry (LC-MRM/MS) could be used in the large-scale preclinical verification of putative biomarkers, it would obviate the need for the development of expensive immunoassays. In addition, the translation of novel biomarkers to clinical use would be accelerated if the assays used in preclinical studies were the same as those used in the clinical laboratory. To validate this approach, we developed a multiplexed assay for the quantification of 2 clinically well-known biomarkers in human plasma, apolipoprotein A-I and apolipoprotein B (apoA-I and apoB). METHODS:We used PeptideAtlas to identify candidate peptides. Human samples were denatured with urea or trifluoroethanol, reduced and alkylated, and digested with trypsin. We compared reversed-phase chromatographic separation of peptides with normal flow and microflow, and we normalized endogenous peptide peak areas to internal standard peptides. We evaluated different methods of calibration and compared the final method with a nephelometric immunoassay. RESULTS:We developed a final method using trifluoroethanol denaturation, 21-h digestion, normal flow chromatography-electrospray ionization, and calibration with a single normal human plasma sample. For samples injected in duplicate, the method had intraassay CVs <6% and interassay CVs <12% for both proteins, and compared well with immunoassay (n = 47; Deming regression, LC-MRM/MS = 1.17 × immunoassay - 36.6; S(x|y) = 10.3 for apoA-I and LC-MRM/MS = 1.21 × immunoassay + 7.0; S(x|y) = 7.9 for apoB). CONCLUSIONS:Multiplexed quantification of proteins in human plasma/serum by LC-MRM/MS is possible and compares well with clinically useful immunoassays. The potential application of single-point calibration to large clinical studies could simplify efforts to reduce day-to-day digestion variability.