Highly efficient and selective enrichment of peptide subsets combining fluorous chemistry with reversed-phase chromatography

Cardiovascular Proteomics Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118-2543, USA.
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry (Impact Factor: 2.25). 11/2009; 23(24):4019-30. DOI: 10.1002/rcm.4343
Source: PubMed


The selective capture of target peptides poses a great challenge to modern chemists and biologists, especially when enriching them from proteome samples possessing extremes in concentration dynamic range and sequence diversity. While approaches based on traditional techniques such as biotin-avidin pairing offer versatile tools to design strategies for selective enrichment, problems are still encountered due to sample loss or poor selectivity of enrichment. Here we show that the recently introduced fluorous chemistry approach has attractive properties as an alternative method for selective enrichment. Through appending a perfluorine group to the target peptide, it is possible to dramatically increase the peptide's hydrophobicity and thus enable facile separation of labeled from non-labeled peptides. Use of reversed-phase chromatography allowed for improved peptide recovery in comparison with results obtained using the formerly reported fluorous bonded phase methods. Furthermore, this approach also allowed for on-line separation and identification of both labeled and unlabeled peptides in a single experiment. The net result is an increase in the confidence of protein identification by tandem mass spectrometry (MS2) as all peptides and subsequent information are retained. Successful off-line and on-line enrichment of cysteine-containing peptides was obtained, and high quality MS2 spectra were obtained by tandem mass spectrometry due to the stability of the tag, allowing for facile identification via standard database searching. We believe that this strategy holds great promise for selective enrichment and identification of low abundance target proteins or peptides.

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