Incomplete solubilization and digestion, and poor peptide recovery are frequent problems in protein sample preparation for mass spectrometry analysis. Additives such as SDS or urea can improve protein solubilization and denaturation but they tend to have a negative effect on digestion and mass spec analysis. To overcome these problems we recently developed a mass spectrometry compatible surfactant sodium 3-((1-(furan-2yl)undecyloxy)carbonylamino) propane -1-sulfonate (ProteaseMAX®). We will show that the surfactant improves protein solubilization, digestion and peptide recovery while avoiding negative effects observed with common solubilizers. We will demonstrate how the positive effects of ProteaseMAX lead to an increase in the number of identified proteins and in protein coverage. The examples will include in-solution and in-gel protein digestion studies performed by our customers. We are aware of a general concern regarding the use of surfactants in LC-MS. To address this concern we will present data on peptide retention and signal intensity in ProteaseMAX-containing samples. These data will show that ProteaseMAX is safe to use in LC-MS and MALDI under the caveat that the surfactant is used in recommended concentration limits and according to recommended sample handling procedures.
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