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A challenge for shotgun proteomics is the identification of low abundance proteins, which is always hampered owing to the extreme complexity of protein digests and highly dynamic concentration range of proteins. To reduce the complexity of the peptide mixture, we developed a novel method to selectively enrich N-terminal proline peptides via hydrazide chemistry. This method consisted of ortho-phthalaldehyde (OPA) blocking of primary amines in peptides, reductive glutaraldehydation of N-terminal proline and solid phase hydrazide chemistry enrichment of aldehyde-modified N-terminal proline peptide. After enrichment, the number of detected peptides containing N-terminal proline increased from 1304 to 4039 and the ratio of N-terminal proline peptides jumped from 4.4% to 93.7%, showing good enrichment specificity towards N-terminal proline peptides. Besides, the ratio of identified peptides to proteins was decreased from 7.8 (29751/3811) to 1.5 (4347/2821), indicating that sample complexity was drastically reduced through this method. As a result, this novel approach for enriching N-terminal proline peptides is effective in identification of low abundance protein owing to the reduction of sample complexity. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Zhouxian Li, Qi Wang, Jiawei Mao, Lingyi Zhang, Weibing Zhang, Mingliang Ye. Selective enrichment of N-terminal proline peptides via hydrazide chemistry for proteomics analysis. Analytica chimica acta. 2021 Jan 15;1142:48-55

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PMID: 33280703

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