Depletion of major blood proteins is one of the most promising approaches to access low abundant biomarkers using proteomics. Immunocapture columns often used for this purpose exist in different formats depending on the number of major proteins removed. In this article, we compared the relative interest of depleting either one (albumin), six (albumin, IgG, IgA, transferrin, α1-antitrypsin, and haptoglobin), twelve (the previous six and apo A-I and -II, orosomucoid, α2-macroglobulin, fibrinogen, IgM) or twenty blood proteins (the previous twelve and IgD, ceruloplasmin, apo B, complement C1q, C3, C4, plasminogen, and prealbumin). Such study raises interesting issues related to the reproducibility, practicability, specificity of the immunocapture, and to the impact of removing not only the selected molecules, but also associated peptides and proteins. Depleted sera were here analysed using different proteomic approaches, including two dimensional electrophoresis and SELDI-TOF. Altogether, our results clearly confirmed the interest of depleting major blood proteins for the proteomic detection of low abundant components. However, we observed that increasing the number of depleted proteins from twelve to twenty had a limited beneficial impact and might increase drawbacks in removing associated peptides and proteins. This conclusion is however related to the technologies that we have used, and we believe that it is necessary to adapt the immunocapture to the analytical method employed, and to the ratio between wanted and unwanted proteins removed. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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