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Increasing Throughput of Sensitive Proteomics

A new approach for increasing the throughput of sensitive and quantitative protein analysis is presented in Nature Biotechnology this week. Current mass spectrometry methods enable high-throughput proteomics of large sample amounts, but proteomics of low sample amounts remains limited in depth and throughput. To address this, a group of Northeastern University researchers developed an experimental and computational framework, dubbed plexDIA, to allow for simultaneously multiplexing the analysis of peptides and samples. PlexDIA, they write, enables a multiplicative increase in the rate of consistent protein quantification across limited sample amounts while preserving proteomic coverage, quantitative accuracy, precision, and repeatability of label-free data-independent acquisition. In single human cell experiments, the researchers show that their method could quantify roughly 1,000 proteins per cell and achieve 98 percent data completeness while using about five minutes of active chromatography per cell.