Vowinckel J, Zelezniak A, Bruderer R, Mülleder M, Reiter L, Ralser M
Sci Rep 8 (1) - [2018-12-00; online 2018-03-12]
Quantitative proteomics is key for basic research, but needs improvements to satisfy an increasing demand for large sample series in diagnostics, academia and industry. A switch from nanoflowrate to microflowrate chromatography can improve throughput and reduce costs. However, concerns about undersampling and coverage have so far hampered its broad application. We used a QTOF mass spectrometer of the penultimate generation (TripleTOF5600), converted a nanoLC system into a microflow platform, and adapted a SWATH regime for large sample series by implementing retention time- and batch correction strategies. From 3 µg to 5 µg of unfractionated tryptic digests that are obtained from proteomics-typical amounts of starting material, microLC-SWATH-MS quantifies up to 4000 human or 1750 yeast proteins in an hour or less. In the acquisition of 750 yeast proteomes, retention times varied between 2% and 5%, and quantified the typical peptide with 5-8% signal variation in replicates, and below 20% in samples acquired over a five-months period. Providing precise quantities without being dependent on the latest hardware, our study demonstrates that the combination of microflow chromatography and data-independent acquisition strategies has the potential to overcome current bottlenecks in academia and industry, enabling the cost-effective generation of precise quantitative proteomes in large scale.