Thursday, November 10, 2011

Deep Proteome Coverage without Prefractionation

A good friend forwarded me a great paper that I somehow missed from last summer.  "Deep and Highly Sensitive Proteome Coverage by LC-MS/MS without Prefractionation."  This paper is out of Matthias Mann's lab at Max Planck and Suman Thakur is the lead author.
In a nutshell, the paper describes their attempts at using long (up to 2 meter!!!!!) columns to separate and identify complex peptide samples.  If you are thinking 1 million PSI backpressure, you aren't alone.  They build a custom column heater to keep the backpressure down.  And it works.  Holy cow.  In a 480 minute run they cover 68% of the proteins that they found in the multistage fractionation of yeast extract that they did a few years ago.  68% in 480 minutes.
The kicker here?  Call up your nanospray column manufacturer and ask for a quote on a column even 40cm long!  Lets see if you get as discouraged as I did.  If you know of a company that makes custom columns of this length for less than the price of a Porsche 951, definitely let me know!

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