Optimization of analytical and pre-analytical conditions for MALDI-TOF-MS human urine protein profiles.


Protein analysis in biological fluids, such as urine, by means of mass spectrometry (MS) still suffers for insufficient standardization in protocols for sample collection, storage and preparation. In this work, the influence of these variables on healthy donors human urine protein profiling performed by matrix assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) was studied. A screening of various urine sample pre-treatment procedures and different sample deposition approaches on the MALDI target was performed. The influence of urine samples storage time and temperature on spectral profiles was evaluated by means of principal component analysis (PCA). The whole optimized procedure was eventually applied to the MALDI-TOF-MS analysis of human urine samples taken from prostate cancer patients. The best results in terms of detected ions number and abundance in the MS spectra were obtained by using home-made microcolumns packed with hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) resin as sample pre-treatment method; this procedure was also less expensive and suitable for high throughput analyses. Afterwards, the spin coating approach for sample deposition on the MALDI target plate was optimized, obtaining homogenous and reproducible spots. Then, PCA indicated that low storage temperatures of acidified and centrifuged samples, together with short handling time, allowed to obtain reproducible profiles without artifacts contribution due to experimental conditions. Finally, interesting differences were found by comparing the MALDI-TOF-MS protein profiles of pooled urine samples of healthy donors and prostate cancer patients. The results showed that analytical and pre-analytical variables are crucial for the success of urine analysis, to obtain meaningful and reproducible data, even if the intra-patient variability is very difficult to avoid. It has been proven how pooled urine samples can be an interesting way to make easier the comparison between healthy and pathological samples and to individuate possible differences in the protein expression between the two sets of samples.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jpba.2009.10.014
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@article{Calvano2010OptimizationOA, title={Optimization of analytical and pre-analytical conditions for MALDI-TOF-MS human urine protein profiles.}, author={Cosima Damiana Calvano and Antonella Aresta and M T Iacovone and Giuseppe Egidio de Benedetto and Carlo Giorgio Zambonin and Mathew Battaglia and Pasquale Ditonno and Monica Rutigliano and Carlo Bettocchi}, journal={Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis}, year={2010}, volume={51 4}, pages={907-14} }