Global protein identification and quantification technology using two-dimensional liquid chromatography nanospray mass spectrometry

Anal Chem. 2003 Dec 1;75(23):6658-65. doi: 10.1021/ac034607k.


A simple and reliable method is described here for the identification and relative quantification of proteins in complex mixtures using two-dimensional liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. The method is based on the classical proteomic analysis where proteins are digested with trypsin and the resulting peptides are separated by multidimensional liquid chromatography. The separated peptides are analyzed by tandem mass spectrometry and identified via a database search algorithm such as SEQUEST. The peak areas (integrated ion counts over the peptide elution time) of all identified peptides are calculated, and the relative concentration of each protein is determined by comparing the peak areas of all peptides from that protein in one sample versus those from the other. Using this strategy, we compared the relative level of protein expression of A431 cells (an epidermal cell line) grown in the presence or absence of epidermal growth factor (EGF). Our results are consistent with the published observations of the transient effects of EGF. In addition, the difference in the concentrations of several phosphopeptides determined in our studies suggests the possibility of several new targets involved in the EGF cell-signaling pathway. This global protein identification and quantification technology should prove to be a valuable means for comparing proteomes in biological samples subjected to differential treatments.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chromatography, Liquid / instrumentation
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nanotechnology / instrumentation
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Proteins / analysis*
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteomics / instrumentation
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / instrumentation
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods*


  • Proteins