A possible role of gas-phase electrophoretic mobility molecular analysis (nES GEMMA) in extracellular vesicle research
Steinberger, Stephanie, Sobha Karuthedom George, Lucia Lauková, René Weiss, Carla Tripisciano, Ruth Birner-Gruenberger, Viktoria Weber, Günter Allmaier, and Victor U. Weiss. 2021. “A Possible Role of Gas-Phase Electrophoretic Mobility Molecular Analysis (NES GEMMA) in Extracellular Vesicle Research.” Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 413 (30): 7341–52. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-021-03692-y.
The emerging role of extracellular vesicles (EVs) as biomarkers and their envisioned therapeutic use require advanced techniques for their detailed characterization. In this context, we investigated gas-phase electrophoresis on a nano electrospray gas-phase electrophoretic mobility molecular analyzer (nES GEMMA, aka nES differential mobility analyzer, nES DMA) as an alternative to standard analytical techniques. In gas-phase electrophoresis, single-charged, surface-dry, native, polydisperse, and aerosolized analytes, e.g., proteins or bio-nanoparticles, are separated according to their electrophoretic mobility diameter, i.e., globular size. Subsequently, monodisperse particles are counted after a nucleation step in a supersaturated atmosphere as they pass a focused laser beam. Hence, particle number concentrations are obtained in accordance with recommendations of the European Commission for nanoparticle characterization (2011/696/EU from October 18th, 2011). Smaller sample constituents (e.g., co-purified proteins) can be detected next to larger ones (e.g., vesicles). Focusing on platelet-derived EVs, we compared different vesicle isolation techniques. In all cases, nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) confirmed the presence of vesicles. However, nES GEMMA often revealed a significant co-purification of proteins from the sample matrix, precluding gas-phase electrophoresis of less-diluted samples containing higher vesicle concentrations. Therefore, mainly peaks in the protein size range were detected. Mass spectrometry revealed that these main contaminants belonged to the group of globulins and coagulation-related components. An additional size exclusion chromatography (SEC) step enabled the depletion of co-purified, proteinaceous matrix components, while a label-free quantitative proteomics approach revealed no significant differences in the detected EV core proteome. Hence, the future in-depth analysis of EVs via gas-phase electrophoresis appears feasible. Platelet-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs)with/without additional size exclusion chromatographic (SEC) purification were subjected to nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) and gas-phase electrophoresis (nES GEMMA). The latter revealed presence of co-purified proteins, targetable via mass spectrometry (MS). MS also revealed that SEC did not influence EV protein content. To conclude, nES GEMMA is a valuable tool for quality control of EV-containing samples under native conditions allowing for detection of co-purified proteins from complex matrices.View full article