Increased selectivity, analytical precision, and throughput in targeted proteomics.
- Proteomics of Cellular Signaling
Proteomics is gradually complementing large shotgun qualitative studies with hypothesis-driven quantitative experiments. Targeted analyses performed on triple quadrupole instruments in selected reaction monitoring mode are characterized by a high degree of selectivity and low limit of detection; however, the concurrent analysis of multiple analytes occurs at the expense of sensitivity because of reduced dwell time and/or selectivity due to limitation to a few transitions. A new data acquisition paradigm is presented in which selected reaction monitoring is performed in two ways to simultaneously quantify and confirm the identity of the targeted peptides. A first set of primary transitions is continuously monitored during a predetermined elution time window to precisely quantify each peptide. In addition, a set of six to eight transitions is acquired in a data-dependent event, triggered when all the primary transitions exceed a preset threshold. These additional transitions are used to generate composite tandem mass spectra to formally confirm the identity of the targeted peptides. This technique was applied to analyze the tryptic digest of a yeast lysate to demonstrate the performance of the technique. We showed a limit of detection down to tens of attomoles injected and a throughput exceeding 6000 transitions in one 60-min experiment. The technique was integrated into a linear work flow, including experimental design, data acquisition, and data evaluation, enabling large scale proteomic studies.