Proteomics is the large-scale study of proteins, particularly their expression, structures and functions. This still-emerging combination of technologies aims to describe and characterize all expressed proteins in a biological system. Because of upper limits on mass detection of mass spectrometers, proteins are usually digested into peptides and the peptides are then separated, identified and quantified from this complex enzymatic digest. The problem in digesting proteins first and then analyzing the peptide cleavage fragments by mass spectrometry is that huge numbers of peptides are generated that overwhelm direct mass spectral analyses. The objective in the liquid chromatography approach to proteomics is to fractionate peptide mixtures to enable and maximize identification and quantification of the component peptides by mass spectrometry. This review will focus on existing multidimensional liquid chromatographic (MDLC) platforms developed for proteomics and their application in combination with other techniques such as stable isotope labeling. We also provide some perspectives on likely future developments.
- Multi-dimensional liquid chromatography
- Stable isotope labeling