Towards absolute quantification of protein genetic variants in Pisum sativum extracts

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In recent years, several studies have used proteomics approaches to characterize genetic variant profiles of agricultural raw materials. In such studies, the challenge is the quantification of the individual protein variants. In this study a novel UPLC-PDA-MS method with absolute and label-free UV-based peptide quantification was applied to quantify the genetic variants of legumin, vicilin and albumins in pea extracts. The aim was to investigate the applicability of this method and to identify challenges in determining protein concentration from the measured peptide concentrations. Analysis of the protein mass balance showed significant losses of proteins in extraction (37%) and of peptides in further sample preparation (69%). The challenge in calculating the extractable individual protein concentrations was how to deal with these insoluble peptides. The quantification approach using average amino acid concentrations in each position of the sequence showed most reproducible results and allowed comparison of the genetic protein composition of 8 different cultivars. The extractable protein composition (μM/μM) was remarkably similar for all cultivar extracts and consisted of legumins A1 (12.8 ± 1.2%), A2 (1.1 ± 0.4%), B (9.9 ± 1.6%), J (7.5 ± 1.0%) and K (10.3 ± 2.1%), vicilin (15.2 ± 1.7%), provicilin (15.7 ± 2.5%), convicilin (9.8 ± 0.8%), albumin A1 (7.4 ± 2.0%), albumin 2 (10.0 ± 1.5%) and protease inhibitor (0.4 ± 0.4%).

Original languageEnglish
Article number115048
Number of pages13
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2023


  • Food peptides
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Quantitative proteomics
  • Yellow pea


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