We have previously demonstrated the suitability of data-dependent electron capture dissociation (ECD) for incorporation into proteomic strategies. The ability to directly determine sites of phosphorylation is a major advantage of electron capture dissociation; however, the low stoichiometry associated with phosphorylation means that phosphopeptides are often overlooked in data-dependent ECD analyses. In contrast, collision-induced dissociation (CID) tends to result in loss of the labile phosphate group, often at the expense of sequence fragments. Here, we demonstrate a novel strategy for the characterization of phosphoproteins which exploits the neutral loss feature of CID such that focused ECD of phosphopeptides is achieved. Peptides eluting from a liquid chromatograph are first subjected to CID, and if a neutral loss of 98 Da (corresponding to H3PO4) from the precursor is observed, ECD of that same precursor is performed; i.e., the method comprises neutral loss triggered ECD (NL-ECD-MS/MS). The method was applied to tryptic digests of beta-casein and alpha-casein. For alpha-casein, four sites of phosphorylation were identified with NL-ECD-MS/MS compared with a single site identified by ECD-MS/MS. The method also resulted in ECD of a doubly phosphorylated peptide. A further benefit of the method is that overall protein sequence coverage is improved. Sequence information from nonphosphorylated peptides is obtained as a result of the CID step.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 2006|