High-throughput identification of in-gel digested proteins by rapid, isocratic HPLC/MS/MS

Yue Chen, Sung Chan Kim, Yingming Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The high sensitivity and accuracy of mass spectrometry for identifying proteins has led to an explosive expansion of proteomics research, necessitating rapid procedures for HPLC/MS/MS analysis. Current HPLC/MS/MS analysis usually relies on elution of peptides from the HPLC column with a gradient that takes a total of 45-70 min for each cycle, limiting sample throughput and the speed of protein identification. Here we report a simple method for high-throughput protein identification, using isocratic, either methanol- or acetonitrile-based buffer systems, HPLC elution into an LTQ mass spectrometer. This procedure allows each cycle of highly sensitive HPLC/MS/MS analysis to be completed in 5 min, thus boosting the efficiency of HPLC/MS/MS analysis 9-14-fold. Using this method, each operator can acquire HPLC/MS/MS data for 96 in-gel proteolytic digests in one 8-h working day. The method can easily be implemented in any laboratory with an LTQ mass spectrometer. This protocol should find wide application in mass spectrometry laboratories that require high-throughput analysis but are limited by inefficient use of machine time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8179-8184
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2005


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