Bottom-up proteomics is a common method to identify proteins and characterize their amino acid sequences and post-translational modifications by proteolytic digestion of proteins prior to analysis by mass spectrometry. The proteins may first be purified by a method such as gel electrophoresis resulting in one or a few proteins in each proteolytic digest. Alternatively, the crude protein extract is digested directly, followed by one or more dimensions of separation of the peptides by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, a technique known as shotgun proteomics. By comparing the masses of the proteolytic peptides or their tandem mass spectra with those predicted from a sequence database, peptides can be identified and multiple peptide identifications assembled into a protein identification.
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