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Content archived on 2024-05-29

A new concept for protein quantification by heteroatom tags


In clinical chemistry, pharmaceutical research and biochemistry the precise and accurate quantification of proteins is critically important.
The invention of soft-ionization sources such as electrospray and MALDI, has introduced a revolution in protein characterisation owing to the rapid access to protein sequences. However, these techniques are far from yielding precise (1-2%) quantitative information on the proteins.
The vision of the project is to achieve a quantum leap in quantitative proteomics by improving its sensitivity and precision by at least one order of magnitude. To achieve this, a completely new concept of quantitative proteomics is proposed: heteroatom tags, ICP MS and isotope dilution analysis. The goal of the project is the specific labelling of proteins with heteroatom tags for accurate and precise protein quantification, and the development of the related analytical technology.
These tags should selectively react with particular amino acids or post-translational modification sites of proteins.
The most novel idea is a multi-tagging approach. Contrary to the current procedures, a mixture of tags specific for individual functional groups can be used and then all the information can be obtained in one analytical run. Precise protein quantification may become a diagnostic tool and applications in biomedical research may emerge. Profiling of e.g. phosphoproteins in body fluids or tissue homogenates may become of significance in differential diagnosis of cancer or other diseases and may be developed into a tool for individual therapy control. Consequently, a success of the project will have enormous impact on biochemical, clinical and pharmaceutical research.

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