Table of Contents
International Journal of Proteomics
Volume 2013, Article ID 219452, 6 pages
Review Article

Advantageous Uses of Mass Spectrometry for the Quantification of Proteins

Hale Biochemical Consulting, 6341 Wyatt Lane, Klamath Falls, OR 97601, USA

Received 27 August 2012; Revised 30 November 2012; Accepted 12 December 2012

Academic Editor: Valerie Wasinger

Copyright © 2013 John E. Hale. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Quantitative protein measurements by mass spectrometry have gained wide acceptance in research settings. However, clinical uptake of mass spectrometric protein assays has not followed suit. In part, this is due to the long-standing acceptance by regulatory agencies of immunological assays such as ELISA assays. In most cases, ELISAs provide highly accurate, sensitive, relatively inexpensive, and simple assays for many analytes. The barrier to acceptance of mass spectrometry in these situations will remain high. However, mass spectrometry provides solutions to certain protein measurements that are difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish by immunological methods. Cases where mass spectrometry can provide solutions to difficult assay development include distinguishing between very closely related protein species and monitoring biological and analytical variability due to sample handling and very high multiplexing capacity. This paper will highlight several examples where mass spectrometry has made certain protein measurements possible where immunological techniques have had a great difficulty.