Mass spectrometry (MS) in conjunction with liquid chromatography and gel separation techniques has been utilized to identify synaptic plasma membrane (SPM) proteins isolated from rat forebrain and digested with the protease trypsin. Initial results employing two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) separation of the SPM protein mixture have shown that several membrane proteins were under-represented due to solubilization problems in the dimension of isoelectric-point focusing. Given the complexity of the SPM, multiple stages of separation were necessary prior to mass spectrometric detection in order to facilitate protein identification. This particular study involved several approaches using one-dimensional (1D) sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-PAGE, strong cation-exchange (SCX) chromatography and capillary reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) techniques. In addition to these gel and HPLC separation stages, complementary information was obtained by using both matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) and electrospray ionization (ESI) mass spectrometry. Data-dependent acquisition employing capillary HPLC-nanoESI/MS allowed for the detection of low-abundance tryptic peptides in the digested SPM fraction and identification of the corresponding proteins when product-ion information of a single or multiple peptides was used in protein database searching. The potential value of this subproteome methodology was exemplified by the identification of several proteins relevant to synaptic physiology which included various transporters, receptors, ion channels, and enzymes.
- Cellular and molecular biology
- Gene structure and function: general
- Mass spectrometry
- Rat forebrain
- Synaptic membrane