High MS-compatibility of silver nitrate-stained protein spots from 2-DE gels using ZipPlates and AnchorChips for successful protein identification.

PMID 17447244


The availability of easy-to-handle, sensitive, and cost-effective protein staining protocols for 2-DE, in conjunction with a high compatibility for subsequent MS analysis, is still a prerequisite for successful proteome research. In this article we describe a quick and easy-to-use methodological protocol based on sensitive, homogeneous, and MS-compatible silver nitrate protein staining, in combination with an in-gel digestion, employing the Millipore 96-well ZipPlate system for peptide preparation. The improved quality and MS compatibility of the generated protein digests, as compared to the otherwise weakly MS-compatible silver nitrate staining, were evaluated on real tissue samples by analyzing 192 Coomassie-stained protein spots against their counterparts from a silver-stained 2-DE gel. Furthermore, the applicability of the experimental setup was evaluated and demonstrated by the analysis of a large-scale MALDI-TOF MS experiment, in which we analyzed an additional ~1000 protein spots from 2-DE gels from mouse liver and mouse brain tissue.