Detergents have been widely used for the solubilization of membrane proteins and the improvement of their digestion. In this paper, we have evaluated the application of sodium deoxycholate (SDC) to the solubilization and digestion of rat hippocampal plasma membrane (PM) proteins. For in-solution digestion, rat hippocampal PM fraction from sucrose-density gradient centrifugation was solubilized by boiling in 1.0% SDC, and directly digested without dilution. During the in-gel digestion of the hippocampal PM proteins separated by SDS-PAGE, 0.1% SDC was added. Before analysis of peptide mixture by liquid chromatography and electrospray mass spectrometry, SDC in the tryptic digests was removed by centrifugation following acidification. Use of 1.0% SDC in solubilization and in-solution digestion of rat PM proteins had led to 77 PM or membrane-associated proteins identified, a more than 2-fold increase over that by use of SDS. The addition of 0.1% SDC to the in-gel digestion of SDS-PAGE-resolved membrane proteins remarkably enhanced the coverage of tryptic peptides and the number of hydrophobic membrane proteins identified. Being a cheaper and more tractable acid-insoluble detergent, SDC could be used at higher concentration in the solubilization and tryptic digestion of proteins including PM proteins with the purpose of enhancing the protein solubility and at the same time making no interference with trypsin activity and subsequent analyses.