Deep Proteome Profiling with Reduced Carryover Using Superficially Porous Microfabricated nanoLC Columns

Anal Chem. 2022 Nov 22;94(46):15930-15938. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.2c01196. Epub 2022 Nov 10.


In the field of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)-based proteomics, increases in the sampling depth and proteome coverage have mainly been accomplished by rapid advances in mass spectrometer technology. The comprehensiveness and quality of the data that can be generated do, however, also depend on the performance provided by nano-liquid chromatography (nanoLC) separations. Proper selection of reversed-phase separation columns can be important to provide the MS instrument with peptides at the highest possible concentration and separated at the highest possible resolution. In the current contribution, we evaluate the use of the prototype generation 2 μPAC nanoLC columns, which use C18-functionalized superficially porous micropillars as a stationary phase. When compared to traditionally used fully porous silica stationary phases, more precursors could be characterized when performing single shot data-dependent LC-MS/MS analyses of a human cell line tryptic digest. Up to 30% more protein groups and 60% more unique peptides were identified for short gradients (10 min) and limited sample amounts (10-100 ng of cell lysate digest). With LC-MS gradient times of 10, 60, 120, and 180 min, respectively, we identified 2252, 6513, 7382, and 8174 protein groups with 25, 500, 1000, and 2000 ng of the sample loaded on the column. Reduction of sample carryover to the next run (up to 2 to 3%) and decreased levels of methionine oxidation (up to 3-fold) were identified as additional figures of merit. When analyzing a disuccinimidyl dibutyric urea-crosslinked synthetic library, 29 to 59 more unique crosslinked peptides could be identified at an experimentally validated false discovery rate of 1-2%.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods
  • Humans
  • Peptides / analysis
  • Porosity
  • Proteome* / analysis
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry*


  • Proteome
  • Peptides