Less label, more free: Approaches in label-free quantitative mass spectrometry

Karlie A. Neilson, Naveid A. Ali, Sridevi Muralidharan, Mehdi Mirzaei, Michael Mariani, Gariné Assadourian, Albert Lee, Steven C. Van Sluyter, Paul A. Haynes*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    549 Citations (Scopus)


    In this review we examine techniques, software, and statistical analyses used in label-free quantitative proteomics studies for area under the curve and spectral counting approaches. Recent advances in the field are discussed in an order that reflects a logical workflow design. Examples of studies that follow this design are presented to highlight the requirement for statistical assessment and further experiments to validate results from label-free quantitation. Limitations of label-free approaches are considered, label-free approaches are compared with labelling techniques, and forward-looking applications for label-free quantitative data are presented. We conclude that label-free quantitative proteomics is a reliable, versatile, and cost-effective alternative to labelled quantitation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)535-553
    Number of pages19
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


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