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PEPPI-MS: Polyacrylamide-Gel-Based Prefractionation for Analysis of Intact Proteoforms and Protein Complexes by Mass Spectrometry

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posted on 06.08.2020, 21:58 by Ayako Takemori, David S. Butcher, Victoria M. Harman, Philip Brownridge, Keisuke Shima, Daisuke Higo, Jun Ishizaki, Hitoshi Hasegawa, Junpei Suzuki, Masakatsu Yamashita, Joseph A. Loo, Rachel R. Ogorzalek Loo, Robert J. Beynon, Lissa C. Anderson, Nobuaki Takemori
Prefractionation of complex mixtures of proteins derived from biological samples is indispensable for proteome analysis via top-down mass spectrometry (MS). Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE), which enables high-resolution protein separation based on molecular size, is a widely used technique in biochemical experiments and has the potential to be useful in sample fractionation for top-down MS analysis. However, the lack of a means to efficiently recover the separated proteins in-gel has always been a barrier to its use in sample prefractionation. In this study, we present a novel experimental workflow, called Passively Eluting Proteins from Polyacrylamide gels as Intact species for MS (“PEPPI-MS”), which allows top-down MS of PAGE-separated proteins. The optimization of Coomassie brilliant blue staining followed by the passive extraction step in the PEPPI-MS workflow enabled the efficient recovery of proteins, separated on commercial precast gels, from a wide range of molecular weight regions in under 10 min. Two-dimensional separation combining offline PEPPI-MS with online reversed-phase liquid chromatographic separation resulted in identification of over 1000 proteoforms recovered from the target region of the gel (≤50 kDa). Given the widespread availability and relatively low cost of traditional sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-PAGE equipment, the PEPPI-MS workflow will be a powerful prefractionation strategy for top-down proteomics.