High-abundance protein depletion: Comparison of methods for human plasma biomarker discovery

Veronika Polaskova, Amit Kapur, Alamgir Khan, Mark P. Molloy, Mark S. Baker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    129 Citations (Scopus)


    Affinity depletion of abundant proteins from human plasma has become a routine sample preparation strategy in proteomics used prior to protein identification and quantitation. To date, there have been limited published studies comparing the performance of commercially available depletion products. We conducted a thorough evaluation of six depletion columns using 2-DE combined with sophisticated image analysis software, examining the following criteria: (i) efficiency of high-abundance protein depletion, (ii) non-specific removal of other than the targeted proteins and (iii) total number of protein spots detected on the gels following depletion. From all the products investigated, the Seppro IgY system provided the best results. It displayed the greatest number of protein spots on the depleted plasma gels, minimal non-specific binding and high efficiency of abundant protein removal. Nevertheless, the increase in the number of detected spots compared with the second best performing and cheaper multiple affinity removal column (MARC) was not shown to be statistically significant. The ProteoPrep spin column, considered to be the "deepest" depletion technique available at the time of conducting the study, surprisingly displayed significantly fewer spots on the flow-through fraction gels compared with both the Seppro and the MARC. The spin column format and low plasma capacity were also found to be impractical for 2-DE. To conclude, we succeeded in providing an overview of the depletion columns performances with regard to the three examined areas. Our study will serve as a reference to other scientists when deciding on the optimal product for their particular projects.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)471-482
    Number of pages12
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


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