The mass spectrometry technique of multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) was used to quantify and compare the expression level of lactoferrin in tear films among control, prostate cancer (CaP), and benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) groups. Tear samples from 14 men with CaP, 15 men with BPH, and 14 controls were analyzed in the study. Collected tears (2 μl) of each sample were digested with trypsin overnight at 37°C without any pretreatment, and tear lactoferrin was quantified using a lactoferrin-specific peptide, VPSHAVVAR, both using natural/light and isotopic-labeled/heavy peptides with MRM. The average tear lactoferrin concentration was 1.01 ± 0.07 μg/μl in control samples, 0.96 ± 0.07 μg/μl in the BPH group, and 0.98 ± 0.07 μg/μl in the CaP group. Our study is the first to quantify tear proteins using a total of 43 individual (non-pooled) tear samples and showed that direct digestion of tear samples is suitable for MRM studies. The calculated average lactoferrin concentration in the control group matched that in the published range of human tear lactoferrin concentration measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Moreover, the lactoferrin was stably expressed across all of the samples, with no significant differences being observed among the control, BPH, and CaP groups.
- Multiple reaction monitoring
- Prostate cancer