Frederic Fortis

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Hercules, California, United States

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Publications (16)66.02 Total impact

  • Luc Guerrier, Frederic Fortis, Egisto Boschetti
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    ABSTRACT: Methods for protein fractionation in the proteomics investigation field are relatively numerous. They apply to the prefractionation of the sample to obtain less complex protein mixtures for an easier analysis; they are also used as a means to evidence specific proteins or protein classes otherwise impossible to detect. They involve depletion of high-abundance proteins suppressing the signal of dilute species; they are also capable to enhance the detectability of low-abundance species while concomitantly decreasing the concentration of abundant proteins such as albumin in serum and hemoglobin in red blood cell lysates. Fractionation of proteomes is also used for the isolation of targeted species that are selected for their different expression under certain pathological conditions and that are detected by mass spectrometry. Two unconventional methods of large interest in proteomics due to the low level of protein redundancy between fractions are also reported.All these methods are reviewed and detailed method given to allow specialists of proteomics investigation to access selected separation methods generally dispersed on different technical reviews or books.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2012; 818:11-33. DOI:10.1007/978-1-61779-418-6_2 · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: When capturing proteins via combinatorial peptide ligand libraries, a method well known for drastically reducing the concentration of high-abundance proteins and substantially magnifying the signal of low-abundance species, thus leading to the discovery of a large number of proteins previously undetected in proteomes, we had constantly noticed that there would be a loss of species initially present in the untreated sample, to the tune of 5%, up to 15% in some cases. Such losses are a nuisance and hamper to some extent the unique performance of the method. In order to verify if such losses could be reduced and also to understand some mechanisms of the capture process, we introduce here an important variant to the capture operation, up to the present carried out in physiological saline at pH 7.2. In this novel protocol, the binding step is conducted at three different pH values, namely the standard one at pH 7.2, plus two additional processes, at acidic (pH 4.0) and alkaline (pH 9.3) pH values. Indeed the capture process is more extensive, with a number of additional species captured at the two pH extremes in sera and other proteomes. Interestingly, at pH 4.0 newly detected proteins were mostly acidic, while at the alkaline pH additional protein species were more evenly distributed throughout the pI range towards the alkaline area. The role of pH in the complex mechanism of binding among the hexapeptide library and the various proteomes being analyzed is discussed and evaluated. Due to significant changes in protein patterns with pH, recommendations are thus made to increase the possibility to find additional gene products illustrated by two examples (snake venom and leaf protein extract). Keeping under control the environmental pH when facing reproducibility studies or for comparative proteomics profiling is also a general rule suggested by this study.
    Journal of proteomics 10/2009; 73(4):733-42. DOI:10.1016/j.jprot.2009.10.008 · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The pre-treatment of biological extracts with the aim of detecting very low-abundance proteins generates complexity requiring a proper fractionation. Therefore the success of identifying all newly detectable species depends on the selected fractionation methods. In this context and starting from a human serum, where the dynamic concentration range was reduced by means of a preliminary treatment with a combinatorial hexapeptide ligand library, we fractionated the sample using a novel method based on the differences in isoelectric points of proteins by means of Solid-State Buffers (SSB) associated with cation exchangers. The number of fractions was limited to four and was compared to a classical anion exchange method generating the same number of fractions. What was observed is that when using SSB technology the protein redundancy between fractions was significantly reduced compared to ion exchange fractionation allowing thus a better detection of novel species. The analysis of trypsinized protein fractions by nanoLC-MS/MS confirmed that the SSB technology used is more discriminant than anion exchange chromatography fractionation. A sample fractionation by SSB after the reduction of dynamic concentration range can be accomplished without either adjustment of pH and ionic strength or protein concentration and cleanup. Both advantages over either classical chromatography or isoelectric fractionations allow approaching the discovery of markers of interest under easier conditions applicable in a variety of fields of investigation.
    Journal of proteomics 09/2009; 72(6):1061-70. DOI:10.1016/j.jprot.2009.06.014 · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The use of combinatorial peptide ligand libraries (CPLLs), containing hexapeptides terminating with a primary amine, or modified with a terminal carboxyl group, or with a terminal tertiary amine, allowed discovering and identifying a large number of previously unreported egg yolk proteins. Whereas the most comprehensive list up to date [K. Mann, M. Mann, Proteomics, 8 (2008) 178-191] tabulated about 115 unique gene products in the yolk plasma, our findings have more than doubled this value to 255 unique protein species. From the initial non-treated egg yolk it was possible to find 49 protein species; the difference was generated thanks to the use of the three combined CPLLs. The aberrant behaviour of some proteins, upon treatment via the CPLL method, such as proteins that do not interact with the library, is discussed and evaluated. Simplified elution protocols from the CPLL beads are taken into consideration, of which direct elution in a single step via sodium dodecyl sulphate desorption seems to be quite promising. Alternative methods are suggested. The list of egg yolk components here reported is by far the most comprehensive at present and could serve as a starting point for isolation and functional characterization of proteins possibly having novel pharmaceutical and biomedical applications.
    Journal of Chromatography A 12/2008; 1216(8):1241-52. DOI:10.1016/j.chroma.2008.11.051 · 4.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The analysis of very complex proteomes is dependent on efficient fractionation methods with low level of carry over from fraction to fraction. Among various possibilities the separation by ranges of isoelectric points for further analysis appears as attractive, but current methods involving an electrically driven migration in the presence of ampholyte carriers are not exempt of technical complications. In the present work a new separation concept is described involving the use of so-called solid-state buffers, in association with ion exchangers, to separate protein categories of different pI ranges with a low level of protein overlapping. Resin blends packed in separated columns are used under a cascade configuration of increasing or decreasing pH and, once proteins of different pI are adsorbed by individual resin blends, the columns are dissociated. From each column protein mixtures corresponding to a given pI range are collected by competitive desorption with salts so as to be ready for proteomic analysis. The process is rapid and does not involve electrical fields nor addition of carrier ampholyte material. The presence of potassium chloride during the separation prevents protein precipitation at the vicinity of their isoelectric points. The fractions thus obtained can be used for two dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry analysis after the removal of salts.
    Journal of Proteomics 07/2008; 71(3):379-89. DOI:10.1016/j.jprot.2008.06.007 · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sixteen different amino acids (Arg, Asn, Asp, Gln, Glu, Gly, His, Ile, Lys, Phe, Pro, Ser, Thr, Trp, Tyr, Val) have been separately linked to chromatographic beads and used for studying the mechanism of binding of such baits to proteins, as represented by the cytoplasmic proteome of the human red blood cell (RBC). The 16 different amino acid columns were confronted with equal amounts of RBC lysate, washed to remove unbound material, and eluted with denaturing agents. All eluates were analyzed by nanoLC-MS/MS. The results: there appears to be a dichotomy between a class of "Grand Catchers" (Arg, His, Ile, Lys, Phe, Trp, Tyr, Val), all able to bind from 330 up to 441 unique gene products, and the "Petite Catchers" (Asn, Asp, Gln, Glu, Gly, Pro, Ser, Thr), that bind in general half as much, with the notable exception of Glu that under the described conditions seems to bind only traces of proteins. By comparing homogeneous classes of amino acids (e.g., the basic, the hydrophobic aromatic, the neutral hydrophilic, etc.), it is found that, in general, more than half as many proteins are held in common among the members of each family. In a 16-way comparison, 72 proteins (less than 10% of the total amount, which amounts to 800 unique, nonredundant, identified proteins) appear to be the common catch of all 16 amino acids, suggesting that such proteins might have either multiple binding sites or general motifs recognized by any generic bait. By far, it would appear that the strongest interactions and thus the strongest catches occur with the three aromatic moieties of Phe, Trp, and Tyr, all able to capture a practically identical number of proteins. Ionic interactions, which in principle should be the strongest ones, appear to behave in a peculiar way: they are quite strong with the three basic amino acids (Arg, His, Lys) but almost inexistent with their acidic counterparts. This suggests a peculiar mechanism of interaction: upon formation of the ion pair, the linkage between the protein and the bait is stabilized by the hydrophobicity of the underlying chain (e.g., a butyl in the case of Lys).
    Analytical Chemistry 06/2008; 80(10):3557-65. DOI:10.1021/ac8001353 · 5.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: For a better understanding of the behavior of solid-phase combinatorial peptide ligands for capturing the red blood cell low-abundance soluble proteome, combinatorial peptides of different lengths from a single amino acid up to a hexapeptide were evaluated. A red blood cell lysate (6 g total protein) was loaded in a cascade fashion to the six columns, which were individually eluted with 8 M urea, 2% 3-[(3-cholamidopropyl)dimethylammonio]-1-propanesulfonate (v/w), and 50 mM citric acid. Each eluate was analyzed via sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, two-dimensional maps, and nanoLC-MS/MS. The results: mixed beads with a single amino acid attached showed the capture of a non-negligible portion of the proteome. A progressive increasing of the length of the peptide bait enlarges the pool of captured proteins. Above a length of four amino acids, a plateau is progressively reached, suggesting that not much could be gained with baits longer than six amino acids. Interestingly, whereas the beads laden with a single amino acid seem to be able to capture large-size proteins (>40 kDa), beads with progressively longer peptides capture additional proteins in the smaller size range (10-50 kDa). This suggests that interactions already begin with a single amino acid, but selectivity requires baits of proper length, at least above four amino acids. Plain beads, with a spacer arm carrying a primary amino terminal group for anchoring the baits, are essentially unable to capture proteins, suggesting that the peptide baits do not act by a mechanism of ion exchange but rather via a complex mixed mode, yielding a specific capture.
    Analytical Chemistry 05/2008; 80(10):3547-56. DOI:10.1021/ac702635v · 5.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Proteins in bile may have important physiological functions and serve as disease biomarkers. Here, the protein composition of human gallbladder bile was analyzed using a recently described chromatography-like technology capable to enhance the signal of low-abundance species. First, proteins present in bile fluid were treated with immobilized peptide ligand libraries to concentrate dilute and very dilute species while concomitantly diluting the high-abundance proteins. The analysis of resulting protein mixture was then performed using LC-MS/MS after having classically separated proteins by a mini preparative gel electrophoresis. Overall 222 gene products were found; 143 of them were not reported before in proteomics studies. Ligand libraries by themselves contributed to find 81 new gene products distributed throughout different categories. The described chromatographic approach provides a significant contribution to the bile protein repertoire and opens new perspectives for the discovery of markers for specific biliary tract diseases.
    Journal of Chromatography A 01/2008; 1176(1-2):192-205. DOI:10.1016/j.chroma.2007.11.007 · 4.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A combinatorial ligand library, composed of millions of diverse hexapeptide baits, able to capture and concentrate the "low-abundance" proteome while drastically cutting the concentration of the most abundant species, has been applied to the exploration of the soluble platelet proteome. Mass spectrometry analysis of untreated and library-treated platelets has resulted in the identification of 435 unique gene products. Of those, 147 entries (35% of the total) have not been described among the list of >1100 proteins in proteomic platelet investigations reported before. In addition, the analysis of excised spots from two-dimensional electrophoresis analysis allowed 57 other proteins to be added that were not found in LC-MS analysis, 33 of them not described before in proteomics studies, bringing the total number of new gene products to 180. Thus, the present data add a non-negligible number of species for continuing the "cartography" of the proteomic asset of platelets, in view of completing the mapping procedure for a deeper understanding of the physiology and pathology of this blood cell. Because the capturing process is performed under physiological conditions, by exploiting, for binding to the combinatorial library, the native protein configuration, the described technique is not adapted to capture highly hydrophobic proteins, which need strong denaturing and solubilizing conditions that are incompatible with our working procedure. Thus, our list reports essentially hydrophilic proteins, with negative GRAVY indexes.
    Journal of Proteome Research 11/2007; 6(11):4290-303. DOI:10.1021/pr0703371 · 5.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Capture and amplification of low-level contaminants in purified preparations of recombinant DNA products is described here in the case of mAb meant for human consumption. Such a process is based on treatment with a vastly heterogeneous ligand library composed of hexapeptides bound to a polyhydroxymethacrylate resin. Upon this treatment, a protein solution is recovered with "normalized" relative concentration ratios, in which high-abundance proteins are strongly reduced and rare proteins are highly concentrated. Upon 2-D map analysis, the relatively few spots present in control monoclonals were seen to increase in number, reaching >100 visible polypeptide chains in the pI/M(r) plane. Most of these newly emerged spots were subjected to MS analysis and were found to be composed mainly of three classes of proteins: those derived from proteins present in the culture broth (notably albumin and transferrin), fragments of the desired final product, covering M(r) ranges from as low as 5 up to 45 kDa and some aggregates of light and heavy chains of Igs (mostly dimers and trimers). This ligand library thus appears to be a formidable tool for exploring and bringing to the limelight the "hidden proteome".
    PROTEOMICS 05/2007; 7(10):1624-33. DOI:10.1002/pmic.200600778 · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We propose a novel method for detection of protein impurities present in plasma-derived and recombinant purified injectable biopharmaceuticals by enhancing the concentration of protein impurities, in essence "amplifying" their presence to detectable levels. The method is based on the capture of proteins using a combinatorial solid-phase hexapeptides ligand library previously described for the reduction of protein concentration difference in biological fluids. Three proteins have been investigated: Staphylococcus aureus Protein A, expressed in Escherichia coli and supplied as 99% pure, recombinant human albumin, expressed in Pichia pastoris and certified as 95% pure, and therapeutic albumin supplied as 96-98% pure injectable solution. In all cases, after treatment with the ligand libraries, a number of additional polypeptide chains, not visible in the control, could be detected and obtained in sufficient amounts for MS analysis. In the cases of the two recombinant proteins, it could be demonstrated that a number of these polypeptide chains were host cell proteins still present in the purified product. In addition, a substantial number of these spots were found to be cleavage products of the original recombinant DNA species. Such cleavage products were particularly abundant in the recombinant human albumin preparation. From pure injectable serum albumin, a number of human plasma protein impurities were also identified by LC-MS/MS analysis. Treatment with ligand libraries of purified proteins is thus seen as a very powerful method of capture and concentration of host proteins and cleaved products for further analysis to control better the quality of industrial biotechnology products.
    Journal of Proteome Research 11/2006; 5(10):2577-85. DOI:10.1021/pr060090s · 5.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The removal of last impurity traces from a purified protein is generally called polishing. It is an important step in downstream processing since protein impurities may generate undesirable side effects when the preparation is intended for research, diagnostic and more importantly therapeutic applications. Polishing is generally achieved by using orthogonal separation methods to previous steps, the most common being gel permeation chromatography. In spite of its polishing effectiveness, this technique suffers from a poor separation capacity and modest productivity as a result of low speed. Other approaches, for instance, based on anion exchange or on hydrophobic chromatography, that may be optimized for a given process cannot be used as generic methods. This document reports for the first time the use of a combinatorial solid-phase peptide library as a general method for the removal of impurity traces. Several examples of impurity trace removal are reported; starting material is either a pure protein spiked with serum proteins or with Escherichia coli extracts or current purified proteins still containing a small percentage of impurities. Among polished proteins are recombinant human albumin expressed in Pichia pastoris and human transferrin purified from whole plasma. This new method is used in neutral or even physiological pH and ionic strength conditions, with a remarkable capability to remove impurities. The process is as rapid as current adsorption chromatography procedures usable for the removal of a large number of protein impurities, with each one present in small amounts, such as host cell proteins.
    Electrophoresis 08/2006; 27(15):3018-27. DOI:10.1002/elps.200500847 · 3.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The discovery of specific polypeptides of diagnostic relevance from a biological liquid is complicated by the overall vast number and the large concentration range of all polypeptides/proteins in the sample. Depletion or fractionation methodologies have been used for selectively removing abundant proteins; however, they failed to significantly enrich trace proteins. Here we expand upon a new method that allows the reduction of the protein concentration range within a complex mixture, like neat serum, through the simultaneous dilution of high abundance proteins and the concentration of low abundance ones in a single, simple step. This methodology utilizes solid-phase ligand libraries of large diversity. With a controlled sample-to-ligand ratio it is possible to modulate the relative concentration of proteins such that a large number of peptides or proteins that are normally not detectable by classical analytical methods become, easily detectable. Application of this method for reducing the dynamic range of unfractionated serum is specifically described along with treatment of other biological extracts. Analytical surface enhanced laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (SELDI-MS) technology and mono- and two-dimensional electrophoresis (1-DE and 2-DE) demonstrate the increase in the number of proteins detected. Examples linking this approach with additional fractionation methods demonstrate a further increase in the number of detectable species using either the so-called "top down" or "bottom up" approaches for proteomics analysis. By enabling the detection of a greater proportion of polypeptides/proteins within a sample, this method may contribute significantly towards the discovery of new biomarkers of diagnostic relevance.
    Journal of Chromatography B 04/2006; 833(1):33-40. DOI:10.1016/j.jchromb.2005.12.048 · 2.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The human urinary proteome has been reassessed and re-evaluated via a novel concentration/equalization technique, exploiting beads coated with hexameric peptide ligand libraries. These beads act by capturing the whole protein spectra contained in the sample, by drastically reducing the level of the most abundant species, while strongly concentrating the more dilute and rare ones. In a control urine sample, 134 unique proteins could be identified. The first bead eluate (in thiourea, urea, and CHAPS) permitted the identification of 317 gene products, whereas the second eluate (in 9 M urea, pH 3.8) allowed the identification of another 95 unique proteins. By eliminating redundancies, a total of 383 unique gene products could be identified in human urines. This represents a major increment as compared to data reported in recent literature. By comparing our data with those reported to the present, an additional 251 proteins could be added to the list, thus bringing the total unique gene products so far identified in human urines to ca. 800 species.
    Journal of Proteome Research 12/2005; 4(6):1917-30. DOI:10.1021/pr050153r · 5.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Proteome pre-fractionation in multicompartment electrolyzers is proposed here, with substantial modifications as compared to the standard technique. First of all, the classical isoelectric, buffering membranes, delimiting each compartment and acting, in pairs, as isoelectric traps, have been replaced by isoelectric buffering beads, operating on the same principle, but allowing unhindered migration of proteins (lack of sieving properties, contrary to typical continuous membrane barriers). Secondly, the isoelectric beads are not made in the conventional manner, with ionic acrylamide derivative monomers throughout their central core, but are composed of a hard, ceramic core, coated with an amphoteric buffering polymer. This minimizes mass transfer resistance of proteins that are transiently adsorbed onto the beads. As a result, significantly reduced separation times, of the order of ca. 3 h, are required for developing steady-state patterns, as compared to the lengthy times (overnight and much longer) in conventional multicompartment electrolyzers operating with isoelectric membranes. Examples of separation of standard marker proteins, as well as entire Escherichia coli lysates and human serum proteins, are given. The obtained fractions are analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and by surface enhanced laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry.
    PROTEOMICS 02/2005; 5(3):629-38. DOI:10.1002/pmic.200401112 · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The possibility is reported here of fractionating proteins on amphoteric, buffering resins via ion-exchange chromatography. A given protein's adsorption to a particular amphoteric buffering resin is characterized by a bell-shaped curve in which the maximum protein binding capacity is observed at an optimum pH value lying approximately midway between the isoelectric point values (pI) of the resin and the protein. On either side of this maximum the protein binding capacity declines steadily, reaching zero at the pI of either the protein or exchanger. For instance, on beads of pI equal to 8, four proteins, two acidic (bovine albumin and ovalbumin) and two basic (cytochrome c and lysozyme), exhibit binding curves reaching zero values for the whole set when the exchanger is conditioned at pH 8.0. Away from the pI, and on both sides of the pH scale, the bell-shaped adsorption curves reach a maximum, for each protein, at a pH located at the midpoint between the pI values of each protein and that of the exchanger, and decline steadily to reach zero at the pI value of each protein species. Separation of model proteins using different amphoteric buffering resins of various pI was possible at different pH values according to both the pI of the proteins and of the exchangers. It was also demonstrated, using surface enhanced laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry and two dimensional electrophoretic mapping, that separation of an Escherichia coli cell lysate on columns packed with amphoteric buffering resins of different pI and titrated to a particular pH value, delivered two distinctly different fractions, i.e. characteristically composed of, on the one hand, proteins having a pI below the buffer pH (the 'adsorbed' fraction), and on the other, of alkaline proteins possessing a pI above the pH of the buffer (the 'unadsorbed' fraction). This approach represents an attractive addition and/or alternative to the armory of protein pre-fractionation techniques currently employed in proteomics.
    PROTEOMICS 02/2005; 5(3):620-8. DOI:10.1002/pmic.200401113 · 3.97 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

626 Citations
66.02 Total Impact Points


  • 2009–2012
    • Bio-Rad Laboratories
      Hercules, California, United States
  • 2007
    • Tuscia University
      Viterbo, Latium, Italy
  • 2006
    • IEO - Istituto Europeo di Oncologia
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2005
    • University of Verona
      • Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
      Verona, Veneto, Italy
    • Université de Cergy-Pontoise
      95001 CEDEX, Ile-de-France, France