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Equalizer technology – Equal rights for disparate beads



One major limitation in proteomics is the detection and analysis of low-abundant proteins, i.e. in plasma. Several years ago, a technique to selectively enrich the relative concentration of low-abundant proteins was introduced by Boschetti and co-workers. It is based on a specific and saturable interaction of proteins to a high diversity of binding sites, realized by a hexapeptide library coupled to beads. This technology was commercialized as Equalizer beads or ProteoMiner. However, during application of ProteoMiner beads to plasma samples unexpected results questioned the proposed mode of action. Therefore, ProteoMiner beads were compared with chromatographic beads exhibiting completely different surface chemistry. Sepabeads FP-OD400 octadecyl, FP-DA400 diethylamine, FP-BU400 butyl, FP-HG400 hydroxyl and EXE056 epoxy were used. The results show that ProteoMiner or the different Sepabeads behave surprisingly similarly in the separation of complex protein mixtures. ProteoMiner beads interact with protein mixtures according to a general hydrophobic binding mechanism, where diversity in surface ligands plays only a negligible role.