Capillary Isoelectric Focusing-Tandem Mass Spectrometry and Reversed-Phase Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry for Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of Differentiating PC12 Cells By Eight-Plex Isobaric Tags for Relative and Absolute Quantification

We report the application of capillary isoelectric focusing for quantitative analysis of a complex proteome. Biological duplicates were generated from PC12 cells at days 0, 3, 7, and 12 following treatment with nerve growth factor. These biological duplicates were digested with trypsin, labeled using eight-plex isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) chemistry, and pooled. The pooled peptides were separated into 25 fractions using reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC). Technical duplicates of each fraction were separated by capillary isoelectric focusing (cIEF) using a set of amino acids as ampholytes. The cIEF column was interfaced to an Orbitrap Velos mass spectrometer with an electrokinetically pumped sheath-flow nanospray interface. This HPLC-cIEF-electrospray-tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS) approach identified 835 protein groups and produced 2 329 unique peptides IDs. The biological duplicates were analyzed in parallel using conventional strong-cation exchange (SCX)-RPLC-ESI-MS/MS. The iTRAQ peptides were first separated into eight fractions using SCX. Each fraction was then analyzed by RPLC-ESI-MS/MS. The SCX-RPLC approach generated 1 369 protein groups and 3 494 unique peptide IDs. For protein quantitation, 96 and 198 differentially expressed proteins were obtained with RPLC-cIEF and SCX-RPLC, respectively. The combined set identified 231 proteins. Protein expression changes measured by RPLC-cEIF and SCX-RPLC were highly correlated.