Protein biomarker research has been limited by the lack of available tools to perform rapid and robust quantitation, especially in small sample volumes. Existing technologies are often time consuming and expensive to use; and there is significant demand for mass spectrometry (MS) based proteomics tools that can be used to rapidly quantify large numbers of proteins using simple sample preparation. While quantitative multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (MRM-MS) assays have already been established to measure proteins in human fluids, similar assays have yet to be developed in mice, despite their key role in drug development and biomedical research.
This project has addressed the growing need for MS-based proteomics tools for protein quantitation in the mouse. Dr. Christoph Borchers and his team at the University of Victoria partnered with MRM Proteomics Inc. and developed MRM-MS assays for the precise and sensitive quantitation of >700 proteins in mouse plasma. The method involves simple sample preparation, is compatible with low sample volumes, and involves assay validation according to high-standard guidelines created by the proteomics community. The assays target proteins with a wide variety of biological functions, including proteins putatively involved in cardiovascular disease and cancer, making them important for future protein biomarker discovery and verification studies.
The developed assays have been translated into easy-to-use kits, which include all necessary protocols and instrument settings. During this project, kits for instrument quality control as well as the first disease kit targeting 125 proteins have been developed and marketed. This work ensures assay robustness and aids uptake into other laboratories. Furthermore, 500 assays are now being offered as a new in-house service available to researchers.