A label-free method based on MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry for the absolute quantitation of troponin T in mouse cardiac tissue

Anal Bioanal Chem. 2008 Jul;391(5):1969-76. doi: 10.1007/s00216-008-2113-x. Epub 2008 Apr 18.


A label-free absolute quantitation method based on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has been developed. This methodology was applied to mouse heart in order to quantify cardiac troponin T (cTnT), which is considered to be a sensitive marker of heart damage. The cTnT was extracted, isolated by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography, digested, and analyzed by MALDI-TOF MS. The MS-based quantitation was performed using matrix-matched calibration curves (due to a matrix effect) of two synthetic peptides, one cTnT-specific peptide and one internal standard peptide, respectively. Recoveries at three spiking levels ranged from 87-96%, with relative standard deviations of below 10%. The method detection limit and the method quantitation limit, expressed as the amount of cTnT for the amount of total sarcomeric protein extract, were 0.03 mg g(-1) and 0.15 mg g(-1), respectively. This method appears to be accurate and generally suitable for improving absolute protein quantitation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Myocardium / chemistry*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization / methods*
  • Troponin T / analysis*


  • Troponin T