ABSTRACT: beta-Elimination of the phosphate group on phosphoserine and phosphothreonine residues and addition of an alkyldithiol is a useful tool for analysis of the phosphorylation states of proteins and peptides. We have explored the influence of several conditions on the efficiency of this PO(4)(3-) elimination reaction upon addition of propanedithiol. In addition to the described influence of different bases, the solvent composition was also found to have a major effect on the yield of the reaction. In particular, an increase in the percentage of DMSO enhances the conversion rate, whereas a higher amount of protic polar solvents, such as water or isopropanol, induces the opposite effect. We have also developed a protocol for enrichment of the modified peptides, which is based on solid-phase covalent capture/release with a dithiopyridino-resin. The procedure for beta-elimination and isolation of phosphorylated peptides by solid-phase capture/release was developed with commercially available alpha-casein. Enriched peptide fragments were characterized by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometric analysis before and after alkylation with iodoacetamide, which allowed rapid confirmation of the purposely introduced thiol moiety. Sensitivity studies, carried out in order to determine the detection limit, demonstrated that samples could be detected even in the low picomolar range by mass spectrometry. The developed solid-phase enrichment procedure based on reversible covalent binding of the modified peptides is more effective and significantly simpler than methods based on the interaction between biotin and avidin, which require additional steps such as tagging the modified peptides and work-up of the samples prior to the affinity capture step.
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 07/2003; 376(3):366-73. · 3.78 Impact Factor