Plasma QconCATs reveal a gender-specific proteomic signature in apheresis platelet plasma supernatants

J Proteomics. 2015 Apr 29;120:1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2015.02.010. Epub 2015 Mar 2.


Clinical translation of proteomic technologies is often hampered by technical limitations, including inter-laboratory inconsistencies of label-free derived relative quantification, time-consuming analytical approaches and the subsequent challenge of performing proteomic analyses on large cohorts of subjects. Here we introduce plasma QconCAT-based targeted proteomics, an approach that allows the simultaneous absolute quantitation down to the picogram level of hundreds of proteins in a single liquid chromatography-selected reaction monitoring mass spectrometry run. We demonstrate the robustness of the approach by analyzing apheresis platelet concentrate supernatants at storage day 1 and the end of the shelf life for this blood-derived therapeutic, day 5. The targeted approach was repeatable and robust revealing potential gender-specific signatures across a set of three male and female donors. This technical note represents a proof-of-principle of the application of QconCAT-based MRM strategies to transfusion-medicine relevant issues, such as storage and gender-dependent proteomic signatures in blood-derived therapeutics.

Biological significance: Gender differences in the proteome composition of apheresis platelet supernatants have always been postulated, and might underlie a higher risk of adverse reactions when transfusing apheresis products from female donors. Preliminary proteomic studies provided an overview of gender-dependent relative compositional differences in the proteome of apheresis platelet supernatants during routine storage in the blood bank. Here we apply a proteomics approach for absolute quantitation of approximately 100 proteins in apheresis platelet supernatants from male and female donors at storage days 1 and 5. Absolute quantitative proteomic analyses allowed us to confirm and expand on previous observations about gender and storage-dependency of platelet supernatant protein profiles.

Keywords: Donor variability; Storage; Targeted proteomics; Transfusion medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / chemistry
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism*
  • Blood Proteins / chemistry
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Plateletpheresis / methods*
  • Proteome / chemistry
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Sex Characteristics


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Proteins
  • Proteome