We developed a new method consisting of the proteomic reactor coupled with step pH fractionation for the analysis of low-abundance proteins from minute amount of sample. These new reactors were implemented using both SAX and SCX materials. The pH fractions from the SAX reactor provided higher peptide and protein identification than SCX reactor and conventional solution digestion. Interestingly, the physical characteristics (pI, molecular weight, missed cleavage site and grand average hydrophobicity (GRAVY) index, and number of acid and basic amino acid) of the peptides obtained from the SAX and SCX proteomic reactors are drastically different. Furthermore, nearly half of the peptides observed from the pH fractionations from the SAX reactor are of low abundance while only 22% low-abundance proteins are observed with conventional in-solution digestion following 2D LC-MS/MS analysis.
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