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PLoS One. 2007 Apr 4;2(4):e358.

Modular mass spectrometric tool for analysis of composition and phosphorylation of protein complexes.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America.


The combination of high accuracy, sensitivity and speed of single and multiple-stage mass spectrometric analyses enables the collection of comprehensive sets of data containing detailed information about complex biological samples. To achieve these properties, we combined two high-performance matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass analyzers in one modular mass spectrometric tool, and applied this tool for dissecting the composition and post-translational modifications of protein complexes. As an example of this approach, we here present studies of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae anaphase-promoting complexes (APC) and elucidation of phosphorylation sites on its components. In general, the modular concept we describe could be useful for assembling mass spectrometers operating with both matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) and electrospray ionization (ESI) ion sources into powerful mass spectrometric tools for the comprehensive analysis of complex biological samples.

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