Multiplexed Quantitation of Endogenous Proteins in Dried Blood Spots by Multiple Reaction Monitoring Mass Spectrometry.

Mol Cell Proteomics. 2013 Mar;12(3):781-91. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M112.022442. Epub 2012 Dec 7.
Chambers AG, Percy AJ, Yang J, Camenzind AG, Borchers CH.

Dried blood spot (DBS) sampling, coupled with multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (MRM-MS), is a well-established approach for quantifying a wide range of small molecule biomarkers and drugs. This sampling procedure is simpler and less-invasive than those required for traditional plasma or serum samples enabling collection by minimally trained personal. Many analytes are stable in the DBS format without refrigeration, which reduces the cost and logistical challenges of sample collection in remote locations. These advantages make DBS sample collection desirable for advancing personalized medicine through population-wide biomarker screening. Here we expand this technology by demonstrating the first multiplexed method for the quantitation of endogenous proteins in DBS samples. A panel of 60 abundant proteins in human blood was targeted by monitoring proteotypic tryptic peptides and their stable isotope-labeled analogues by MRM. Linear calibration curves were obtained for 40 of the 65 peptide targets demonstrating multiple proteins can be quantitatively extracted from DBS collection cards. The method was also highly reproducible with a coefficient of variation of <15% for all 40 peptides. Overall, this assay quantified 37 proteins spanning a range of more than 4 orders of magnitude in concentration within a single 25 min LC/MRM-MS analysis. The protein abundances of the 33 proteins quantified in matching DBS and whole blood samples showed an excellent correlation, with a slope of 0.96 and an R2 value of 0.97. Furthermore, the measured concentrations for 80% of the proteins were stable for at least 10 days when stored at -20 °C, 4 °C and 37 °C. This work represents an important first step in evaluating the integration of DBS sampling with highly-multiplexed MRM for quantitation of endogenous proteins.