Clin Chem Lab Med. 2022 Oct 24. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2022-0642. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: Vitamin D-binding protein (VDBP), a serum transport protein for 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], has three common proteoforms which have co-localized amino acid variations and glycosylation. A monoclonal immunoassay was found to differentially detect VDBP proteoforms and methods using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) might be able to overcome this limitation. Previously developed multiple reaction monitoring LC-MS/MS methods for total VDBP quantification represent an opportunity to probe the potential effects of proteoforms on proteolysis, instrument response and quantification accuracy.
METHODS: VDBP was purified from homozygous human donors and quantified using proteolysis or acid hydrolysis and LC-MS/MS. An interlaboratory comparison was performed using pooled human plasma [Standard Reference Material® 1950 (SRM 1950) Metabolites in Frozen Human Plasma] and analyses with different LC-MS/MS methods in two laboratories.
RESULTS: Several shared peptides from purified proteoforms were found to give reproducible concentrations [≤2.7% coefficient of variation (CV)] and linear instrument responses (R2≥0.9971) when added to human serum. Total VDBP concentrations from proteolysis or amino acid analysis (AAA) of purified proteoforms had ≤1.92% CV. SRM 1950, containing multiple proteoforms, quantified in two laboratories resulted in total VDBP concentrations with 7.05% CV.
CONCLUSIONS: VDBP proteoforms were not found to cause bias during quantification by LC-MS/MS, thus demonstrating that a family of proteins can be accurately quantified using shared peptides. A reference value was assigned for total VDBP in SRM 1950, which may be used to standardize methods and improve the accuracy of VDBP quantification in research and clinical samples.