Multiple Reaction Monitoring

  • Quantify specific proteins in a complex mixture
  • Identify up- or down-regulation of specific proteins
  • Save time for development of ELISA assay

Absolute quantification of a specific protein in a complex matrix

The high sensitivity and specificity of Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) using mass spectrometry is of great advantage for selective quantification of specific proteins in very complex mixtures.

The technique provides both identification and quantification of the specific analyte. In that way, it can be used for monitoring Host Cell Proteins (HCP’s) ...

Absolute quantification of a specific protein in a complex matrix

The high sensitivity and specificity of Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) using mass spectrometry is of great advantage for selective quantification of specific proteins in very complex mixtures.

The technique provides both identification and quantification of the specific analyte. In that way, it can be used for monitoring Host Cell Proteins (HCP’s) of concern either in individual process steps or in the final drug substance. Furthermore, it is complementary to rtPCR, Western blotting and ELISA.

Advantages of Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) by mass spectrometry

The MRM assays developed by Alphalyse have several advantages over other protein quantification methods. Advantages compared to methods like HPLC and antibody based ELISA assays include:

  • Direct LC-MS/MS measurement of analytes. Not indirect measurement of protein-antibody binding
  • Multiplex analysis. – We measure multiple proteins in same mass spectrometry run
  • High reproducibility (5% CV) of relative quantification, when combined with internal standards

We develop the LC MS/MS analysis specifically to your protein and project. As we analyze your samples on a fee-for-service basis, please contact us to receive a quote.

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The process:

  • 1 Contact us to discuss your project and receive a project proposal
  • 2 Analysis phase lead by Alphalyse appointed principal investigator
  • 3 Report w. the absolute quantity of individual proteins
  • 4 Follow-up by phone or email

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Testimonials

  • "Not only do we gain access to their hands, but we also get to pick their brains for mass spectrometry knowledge."

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Knowledge center

More information

We would like to help you as much as possible with your project and therefore provide several kinds of customer support:

Technical description

Introduction to Multiple Reaction Monitoring

The absolute quantification of specific protein in complex matrices are based on the selection of specific peptides as signature peptides and used for assay development based on Multiple-Reaction-Monitoring (MRM). The project are typically divided into three parts.

Part 1: Feasibility study

The purpose of the feasibility study is to investigate the possibility to develop an assay that can be used for the quantification of the specific protein in the matrix. The feasibility study will include:

  1. Planning phase – evaluate potential sample preparation protocols and signature peptides, i.e. specific marker peptides, based on the protein sequences.
  2. Digest and LC-MS/MS analysis to ensure that specific signature peptides are formed and that this/these peptides do not appear as part of miss-cleaved peptides or modified peptides (oxidized, deamidation etc.). The digest will be performed with urea as denaturation buffer and using the proteases Lys-C and trypsin.
  3. Short report evaluating the possibility for Alphalyse being able to develop an assay that can be used for the purpose of the project including an estimation of LOQ and LOD.
Calibration curve for MRM quantification by mass spectrometry

Standard curve for MRM quantification of specific HCP

Part 2: Assay development

  1. Optimizing the sample preparation and digest of the proteins for mass spectrometric identification of released peptides.
  2. Ordering of isotope labeled peptide standards (heavy peptides).
  3. Sample preparation and digest of the protein with addition of heavy peptides for quantitative measurements. Selection of optimal product ions for each peptide. Evaluate quantitative results and select quantitative peptides for quantification assay.
  4. Integrate workflow; sample prep. incl., reduction/alkylation, protein digestion, peptide cleanup, LC-MS/MS analysis and MRM measurement. Quantitative measurements using heavy peptides and external calibration curves on the protein reference standard.
  5. Qualification of quantification assay; demonstration of measurement range, linearity, precision and accuracy.

Part 3: Sample analysis

  1. Using the final assay to measure real samples.
MRM chromatogram - mass spectrometry

MRM areas of the corresponding non-isotope peptides

Sample preparation

Sample requirements for MRM quantification

Protein quantification by mass spectrometry requires a protein in sufficient amounts to obtain good data. It is important that samples are prepared in a clean laboratory to avoid contamination with human keratin. To develop MRM quantification assays requires the protein in pure form and a matrix sample without the protein similar to the matrix of the real samples to be analyzed.

Protein samples can be submitted in liquid or lyophilized.

  1. Purify the protein

    1. The chromatographic protein/peptide purity should be >90%
    2. Avoid detergents and keep buffer concentration at a minimum. LC-ESI MS can be done on samples containing small amounts of salts, urea or detergent, but the best result are obtained with low buffer strength in volatile solvents without detergents
    3. Minimum amount ~ 1 mg
  2. Put the protein sample into microcentrifuge tube

    1. Use an Eppendorf Safe Lock tube or similar tubes from your lab
    2. Lyophilize or speed vac the protein to a solid sample to ensure protein stability during shipment
    3. Alternatively, freeze or refrigerate to +4 oC for cold shipment of the liquid sample

Meet the experts

For this type of analysis our experts include:

Do you need help?
Janne Skaarup Crawford

BSc in Cell Biology and Biochemistry

Read more
Do you need help?
Rikke Raaen Lund

PhD in Biomedicine

Read more
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