Researchers at the Centre for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research, Vrije Universiteit, in The Netherlands, have announced that they are using Applied Biosystems iTRAQ reagent kits to analyse proteins in brain synapses using tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) on the Applied Biosystems 4700 Proteomics Analyzer.
The team are characterising the dynamic changes taking place in the synapse during the changing conditions involved in memory creation, learning and behaviour.
Dr Ka Wan Li, Assistant Professor, explained, "There are about 2000 different proteins in the synapse and they play major roles in brain function and plasticity."
"Unfortunately, many of them are membrane proteins, which cannot be easily separated on 2D gels. Instead we solubilise, digest and label them with iTRAQ reagents, then analyse them on the 4700 Proteomics Analyzer."
"The iTRAQ reagents label all the peptides in four different samples, which means we do 10,000 or more MS/MS mass spectra per experiment."
"Using the iTRAQ reagents with the 4700 Proteomics Analyzer has been a turning point in our research because it means we can perform quantitative analyses of the synapse proteome on a routine basis."