[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mass spectrometric analysis of protein phosphorylation is still far from being routine, and the outcomes thereof are often unsatisfying. Apart from the inherent problem of substoichiometric phosphorylation, three arguments as to why phosphorylation analysis is so problematic are often quoted, including (a) increased hydrophilicity of the phosphopeptide with a concomitant loss during the loading onto reversed-phase columns, (b) selective suppression of the ionization of phosphopeptides in the presence of unmodified peptides, and (c) lower ionization/detection efficiencies of phosphopeptides as compared with their unmodified cognates. Here we present the results of a study investigating the validity of these three arguments when using electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. We utilized a set of synthetic peptide/phosphopeptide pairs that were quantitated by amino acid analysis. Under the applied conditions none of the experiments performed supports the notions of (a) generally increased risks of losing phosphopeptides during the loading onto the reversed-phase column because of decreased retention and (b) the selective ionization suppression of phosphopeptides. The issue of ionization/detection efficiencies of phosphopeptides versus their unphosphorylated cognates proved to be less straightforward when using electrospray ionization because no evidence for decreased ionization/detection efficiencies for phosphopeptides could be found.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new hybrid electrospray quadrupole Fourier transform mass spectrometry (FTMS) instrument design is shown and characterized. This instrument involves coupling an electrospray source and mass-resolving quadrupole, ion accumulation, and collision cell linear ion trap system developed by MDS Sciex with a home-built ion guide and ion cyclotron resonance (ICR) cell. The iterative progression of this design is shown. The final design involves a set of hexapole ion guides to transfer the ions from the accumulation/collision trap through the magnetic field gradient and into the cell. These hexapole ion guides are separated by a thin gate valve and two conduction limits to maintain the required <10(-9) mbar vacuum for FTICR. Low-attomole detection limits for a pure peptide are shown, 220 000 resolving power in broadband mode and 820 000 resolving power in narrow-band mode are demonstrated, and mass accuracy in the <2 ppm range is routinely available provided the signal is abundant, cleanly resolved, and internally calibrated. This instrument design provides high experimental flexibility, allowing Q2 CAD, SORI-CAD, IRMPD, and ECD experiments with selected ion accumulation as well as experiments such as nozzle skimmer dissociation. Initial top-down mass spectrometry experiments on a protein is shown using ECD.
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 01/2006; 20(2):259-66. DOI:10.1002/rcm.2307 · 2.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of a new electrospray qQq Fourier transform ion cyclotron mass spectrometer (qQq-FTICR MS) instrument for biologic applications is described. This qQq-FTICR mass spectrometer was designed for the study of post-translationally modified proteins and for top-down analysis of biologically relevant protein samples. The utility of the instrument for the analysis of phosphorylation, a common and important post-translational modification, was investigated. Phosphorylation was chosen as an example because it is ubiquitous and challenging to analyze. In addition, the use of the instrument for top-down sequencing of proteins was explored since this instrument offers particular advantages to this approach. Top-down sequencing was performed on different proteins, including commercially available proteins and biologically derived samples such as the human E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzyme, UbCH10. A good sequence tag was obtained for the human UbCH10, allowing the unambiguous identification of the protein. The instrument was built with a commercially produced front end: a focusing rf-only quadrupole (Q0), followed by a resolving quadrupole (Q1), and a LINAC quadrupole collision cell (Q2), in combination with an FTICR mass analyzer. It has utility in the analysis of samples found in substoichiometric concentrations, as ions can be isolated in the mass resolving Q1 and accumulated in Q2 before analysis in the ICR cell. The speed and efficacy of the Q2 cooling and fragmentation was demonstrated on an LCMS-compatible time scale, and detection limits for phosphopeptides in the 10 amol/muL range (pM) were demonstrated. The instrument was designed to make several fragmentation methods available, including nozzle-skimmer fragmentation, Q2 collisionally activated dissociation (Q2 CAD), multipole storage assisted dissociation (MSAD), electron capture dissociation (ECD), infrared multiphoton induced dissociation (IRMPD), and sustained off resonance irradiation (SORI) CAD, thus allowing a variety of MS(n) experiments. A particularly useful aspect of the system was the use of Q1 to isolate ions from complex mixtures with narrow windows of isolation less than 1 m/z. These features enable top-down protein analysis experiments as well structural characterization of minor components of complex mixtures.
Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry 01/2006; 16(12):1985-99. DOI:10.1016/j.jasms.2005.08.008 · 2.95 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Qualitative and quantitative information are crucial to a detailed understanding of the function of protein phosphorylation. MS is now becoming a quantitative approach to analyze protein phosphorylation. All methods that have been described either require the elaborate/expensive use of stable isotopes to compare a limited number of samples or do not provide phosphorylation stoichiometries. Here, we present stable isotope-free MS strategies that allow relative and absolute quantitation of phosphorylation stoichiometries. By using the developed methods, we can normalize to robustly account for run-to-run variations and variations in amounts of starting material. This procedure monitors the unmodified proteolytic peptides derived from the protein of interest and identifies peptides that are suitable for normalization purposes. Also, we can determine changes in phosphorylation stoichiometry by monitoring the changes in the normalized ion currents of the phosphopeptide(s) of interest. Absolute phosphorylation stoichiometry are measured by monitoring the ion currents of a phosphopeptide and its unmodified cognate as the signal intensity changes of both peptide species are correlated. The method is applicable to multiply phosphorylated species (for which one more sample with varying phosphorylation stoichiometry than number of phosphorylation sites is required to correct for the differences in the ionization/detection efficiencies of the phosphopeptide, its partially phosphorylated and unphosphorylated cognates). Last, we can quantitate species with ragged ends resulting from incomplete proteolysis and measure phosphorylation stoichiometries of single samples by controlled dephosphorylation. These approaches were validated and subsequently applied to the phosphorylation of the yeast transcription factor Pho4.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2005; 102(11):3948-53. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0409536102 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycosylation is the most widespread protein modification and is known to modulate signal transduction and several biologically important interactions. In order to understand and evaluate the biological role of glycosylation it is important to identify the glycosylated protein and localize the site glycosylation under particular biological conditions. To identify glycosylated peptides from simple mixtures, i.e., in-gel digests from single SDS PAGE bands we performed high resolution, high accuracy precursor ion scanning using a quadrupole TOF instrument equipped with the Q(2) pulsing function. The high resolving power of the quadrupole TOF instrument results in the selective detection of glycan specific fragment ions minimizing the interference of peptide derived fragment ions with the same nominal mass. Precursor ion scanning has been previously described for these glycan derived ions. However the use of this method has been limited by the low specificity of the method. The analysis using precursor ion scanning can be applied to any peptide mixture from a protein digest without having previous knowledge of the glycosylation of the protein. In addition to the low femtomole (nanomolar) detection limits, this method has the advantage that no prior derivatization or enzymatic treatment of the peptide mixtures is required.
Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry 08/2003; 14(7):777-84. DOI:10.1016/S1044-0305(03)00263-0 · 2.95 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Entry into mitosis requires the activation of cdk1/cyclin B, while mitotic exit is achieved when the same kinase activity decreases, as cyclin B is degraded. Cyclin B proteolysis is mediated by the anaphase promoting complex, or APC, an E3 ligase that is active at anaphase in mitosis through G1. We have identified a G1 substrate of the APC that we have termed Tome-1, for trigger of mitotic entry. Tome-1 is a cytosolic protein required for proper activation of cdk1/cyclin B and mitotic entry. Tome-1 associates with Skp-1 and is required for degradation of the cdk1 inhibitory tyrosine kinase wee1; Tome-1 therefore appears to be acting as part of an SCF-type E3 for wee1. Degradation of Tome-1 during G1 allows for wee 1 accumulation during interphase, thereby providing a critical link between the APC and SCF pathways in regulation of cdk1/cyclin B activity and thus mitotic entry and exit.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rapid methods using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry to monitor recombinant protein expression from various prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell culture systems were devised. Intracellular as well as secreted proteins from both induced and constitutive expression systems were measured and monitored from whole cells and growth media, thus providing an alternative to time-consuming traditional methods for screening and monitoring of protein expression. The methods described here involve minimal processing of samples and are therefore relevant to high-throughput screening applications.