In an age of whole-genome analysis, the mass spectrometry-based bottom-up strategy is now considered to be the most powerful method for in-depth proteomics analysis. As part of this strategy, highly efficient and complete proteolytic digestion of proteins into peptides is crucial for successful proteome profiling with deep coverage. To achieve this goal, prolonged digestion time and the use of multiple proteases have been adopted. The long digestion time required and tedious sample treatment steps severely limit the sample processing throughput. Though utilization of immobilized protease greatly reduces the digestion time, highly efficient proteolysis of extremely complex proteomic samples remains a challenging task. Here, we propose a dual matrix-based complementary digestion method using two types of immobilized trypsin with opposite matrix hydrophobicity prepared by attaching trypsin on hydrophobic or hydrophilic polymer-brush-modified nanoparticles. The polymer brushes on the nanoparticles serve as three-dimensional supports for a large amount of trypsin immobilization and lead to ultrafast and highly efficient protein digestion. More importantly, the two types of immobilized trypsin show high complementarity in protein digestion with only ?60% overlap in peptide identification for yeast and membrane protein of mouse liver. Complementary digestion by applying these two types of immobilized trypsin together leads to obviously enhanced protein and peptide identification. Furthermore, the dual matrix-based complementary digestion shows particular advantage in the digestion of membrane proteins, as twice the number of identified peptides is obtained compared with solution digestion using free proteases, demonstrating its potential as a promising alternative to promote proteomics analysis with higher protein sequence coverage.
Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) and graphene oxide (GO) sheets are excellent nano carriers in many analytical methods. In this study, a modified enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) strategy was developed using antibody-functionalized GO sheets and GNPs. This modification significantly reduced the limit of detection (LOD) and cost greatly of this assay. The applicability of the method was demonstrated by detecting HSP70 in a human serum sample. This result suggests that the 3G-ELISA method is feasible to detect an antigen in a complex mixture, and the LOD is up to 64-fold and the cost is as low as one-tenth of the conventional ELISA method.
Protein glycosylation is involved in the control of many important biological processes and structural alterations of the N-linked glycans are correlated with various kinds of disease. High-throughput N-glycan profiling is a key technique for elucidating the functions of glycans in biological process and disease development as well as discovering new diagnostic biomarkers. However, the low abundance of glycans existing in living organism, the competition/suppression effect of other highly abundant biological molecules and the inherent lack of alkalinity and hydrophobicity of glycans leads to particularly poor detection sensitivity in MS analysis. Here, we demonstrated the first "one-step" approach for highly efficient glycan enrichment and derivatization using reduced graphene oxide as nanoreactors and 1-pyrenebutyric hydrazide for glycan capture and derivatization, which resulted in a 33-fold increase in the glycan detection sensitivity in MALDI-TOF-MS and the identification of 48N-glycoforms from human plasma.
Protein glycosylation regulates numerous important biological processes and plays key roles in many diseases including cancer, diabetes and inflammation. The ability to efficiently profile variation of protein glycosylation in biological samples is very useful for identifying new diagnostic biomarkers or developing new therapeutic approaches. Due to the low availability of glycoprotein/glycopeptide from natural sources, enrichment before mass spectrometry (MS) analysis is usually a prerequisite. Affinity enrichment using lectins is currently one of the most widely adopted approaches. Conventionally, lectins are immobilized on solid supporting materials for sample recovery. However, the limited specific surface area, high steric hindrance and rigid nature of such supporting materials restricts lectin loading amount and results in low flexibility as well as accessibility of the immobilized lectins. Therefore, we proposed using core-shell microparticles composed of silica core and brush-like polymer chains shell for improved lectin immobilization. The surface bound brush-like polymer are synthesized by in situ growth of polymer chains from microparticle surface using surface initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP). The flexible non-crosslinked polymer chains not only provide numerous binding sites, but also work as three-dimensional support for lectin immobilization, which leads to high loading amount and good accessibility of the immobilized lectin. Successful enrichment which facilitated glycoprotein/glycopeptide identification is demonstrated.
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