Comparison of intact protein and digested peptide techniques for high throughput proteotyping of ApoE

Anthony Maus, Dan Figdore, Dragana Milosevic, Alicia Algeciras-Schimnich, Joshua Bornhorst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotyping has been shown to have diagnostic value in the evaluation of cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Although genetic testing is well established for this application, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC–MS) has the potential to provide a high throughput, low-cost alternative for ApoE evaluation. Methods: Serum samples were analyzed by peptide, intact protein, and genomic techniques. For peptide analysis, samples were digested with trypsin followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis (LC–MS/MS) using a high-throughput multichannel LC system coupled to a Sciex 7500 mass spectrometer. For intact protein analysis, ApoE was immuno-purified using a monoclonal antibody immobilized on magnetic beads followed by high-resolution LC–MS analysis using an Exploris 480. DNA was extracted and evaluated using Sanger sequencing as a reference method. Results and discussion: The peptide measurement method produced one discrepant result when compared to genomic sequencing (out of 38 sequenced samples), whereas the intact protein analysis followed by deconvolution resulted in two discrepant results and when the intact protein data was processed with chromatographic integration there were three discrepant results. Therefore, the intact protein method proved slightly less accurate, required longer analysis time, and is substantially more costly, while providing only a 30 min improvement in sample preparation time. Conclusions: With current MS technology clinical laboratories appear to be better served to utilize trypsin digest sample preparation and LC–MS/MS as opposed to high-resolution LC–MS intact protein analysis techniques for evaluation of ApoE proteotype. Peptide analysis methods are capable of producing accurate results with high throughput and minimal cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number42
JournalClinical Proteomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Apolipoprotein E
  • High-resolution mass spectrometry
  • Tandem mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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