Analysis of the plasma metalloproteome by SEC-ICP-AES: bridging proteomics and metabolomics

Expert Rev Proteomics. 2009 Jun;6(3):251-65. doi: 10.1586/epr.09.44.


Although blood plasma inherently contains protein biomarkers for human disease diagnosis, their determination is difficult since more than 3700 proteins are commonly present. The associated protein-separation problem can, however, be dramatically simplified by analyzing plasma for a subproteome, such as those proteins that contain bound metals. To this end, the analysis of plasma by size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) coupled with an inductively coupled plasma atomic-emission spectrometer (ICP-AES), which served as the simultaneous Cu-, Fe- and Zn-specific detector, revealed the presence of approximately 12 metalloproteins within 25 min. In the context of modern proteomics research, SEC-ICP-AES therefore represents a viable proteomic approach that can be applied to diagnose human diseases that are associated with increased or decreased concentrations of certain plasma metalloproteins. Furthermore, SEC-ICP-AES can be employed to probe the effect of environmental chemicals or drugs in blood at the metalloprotein level, which makes it a versatile research tool for applications in toxicology, applied medicine, pharmacology and nutritional science.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatography, Gel*
  • Humans
  • Metabolomics*
  • Metalloproteins / blood*
  • Proteome / analysis*
  • Proteomics*
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic*


  • Metalloproteins
  • Proteome