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J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2000 Apr;11(4):273-82.

Detection and sequencing of phosphopeptides affinity bound to immobilized metal ion beads by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry.

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Laboratory of Structural Biology, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.


Consecutive enzymatic reactions of analytes which are affinity bound to immobilized metal ion beads with subsequent direct analysis of the products by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry have been used for detecting phosphorylation sites. The usefulness of this method was demonstrated by analyzing two commercially available phosphoproteins, beta-casein and alpha-casein, as well as one phosphopeptide from a kinase reaction mixture. Agarose loaded with either Fe3+ or Ga3+ was used to isolate phosphopeptides from the protein digest. Results from using either metal ion were complementary. Less overall suppression effect was achieved when Ga3+-loaded agarose was used to isolate phosphopeptides. The selectivity for monophosphorylated peptides, however, was better with Fe3+-loaded agarose. This technique is easy to use and has the ability to analyze extremely complicated phosphopeptide mixtures. Moreover, it eliminates the need for prior high-performance liquid chromatography separation or radiolabeling, thus greatly simplifying the sample preparation.

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