Proteomics out of the Archive: Two-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry using hope-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues

Daniel Kähler*, Christian Alexander, Holger Schultz, Mahdi Abdullah, Detlev Branscheid, Buko Lindner, Peter Zabel, Ekkehard Vollmer, Torsten Goldmann

*Corresponding author for this work
23 Citations (Scopus)


Proteome analyses provide diagnostic information which can be essential for therapeutic predictions. The application of such techniques for analyzing paraffin-embedded tissue samples is widely hampered by the use of formalin fixation requiring antigen retrieval procedures in molecular pathology. In prior studies, the HEPES-glutamic acid buffer-mediated organic solvent protection effect (HOPE) technique of tissue fixation has been shown to provide a broad array of biochemical investigations with excellent preservation of morphological structures, DNA, RNA, and proteins, thus supporting the multimethod analysis of archived specimens. Here we show that HOPE fixation is also useful in proteomic investigations by allowing two-dimensional electrophoresis (2DE) and mass spectrometry, using lung cancer tissues. Two-dimensional gels of two-protein extraction protocols derived from HOPE-fixed material displayed characteristic spot patterns with high reproducibility. For comparison, 2DE analysis of ethanol-fixed, formalin-fixed, and frozen samples from the same tissues was performed. Western blotting confirmed immunoreactivity of 2DE-separated proteins from HOPE-fixed tissue samples. Additionally, distinct spots were excised from HOPE-derived 2D gels and successfully subjected to peptide mass fingerprinting. In conclusion, paraffin archives containing HOPE-fixed tissues are applicable to a wide spectrum of molecular investigations including common biochemical methods for proteome analyses and therefore represent a unique source for molecular investigations in the rapidly growing field of molecular pathology. This manuscript contains online supplemental material at Please visit this article online to view these materials.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)221-228
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.2010


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