Power and limitations of electrophoretic separations in proteomics strategies

Mass Spectrom Rev. Sep-Oct 2009;28(5):816-43. doi: 10.1002/mas.20204.


Proteomics can be defined as the large-scale analysis of proteins. Due to the complexity of biological systems, it is required to concatenate various separation techniques prior to mass spectrometry. These techniques, dealing with proteins or peptides, can rely on chromatography or electrophoresis. In this review, the electrophoretic techniques are under scrutiny. Their principles are recalled, and their applications for peptide and protein separations are presented and critically discussed. In addition, the features that are specific to gel electrophoresis and that interplay with mass spectrometry (i.e., protein detection after electrophoresis, and the process leading from a gel piece to a solution of peptides) are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electrophoresis / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Peptides / analysis
  • Peptides / isolation & purification
  • Proteins / analysis
  • Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Proteome / analysis*
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Research Design


  • Peptides
  • Proteins
  • Proteome