Reproducible Tissue Homogenization and Protein Extraction for Quantitative Proteomics using MicroPestle-assisted Pressure Cycling Technology
The reproducible and efficient extraction of proteins from biopsy samples for quantitative analysis is a critical step in biomarker and translational research. Recently, we described a method consisting of pressure-cycling technology (PCT) and sequential windowed acquisition of all theoretical fragment ions-mass spectrometry (SWATH-MS) for the rapid quantification of thousands of proteins from biopsy-size tissue samples. As an improvement of the method, we have incorporated the PCT-MicroPestle into the PCT-SWATH workflow. The PCT-MicroPestle is a novel, miniaturized, disposable mechanical tissue homogenizer that fits directly into the microTube sample container. We optimized the pressure-cycling conditions for tissue lysis with the PCT-MicroPestle and benchmarked the performance of the system against the conventional PCT-MicroCap method using mouse liver, heart, brain, and human kidney tissues as test samples. The data indicate that the digestion of the PCT-MicroPestle-extracted proteins yielded 20-40% more MS-ready peptide mass from all tissues tested with a comparable reproducibility when compared to the conventional PCT method. Subsequent SWATH-MS analysis identified a higher number of biologically informative proteins from a given sample. In conclusion, we have developed a new device that can be seamlessly integrated into the PCT-SWATH workflow, leading to increased sample throughput and improved reproducibility at both the protein extraction and proteomic analysis levels when applied to the quantitative proteomic analysis of biopsy-level samples.