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J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2007 Nov;18(11):1973-6. Epub 2007 Aug 22.

A method to determine the ionization efficiency change of peptides caused by phosphorylation.

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Department of Chemistry-027, University of California at Riverside, Riverside, California 92521-0403, USA.


Quantitative assessment of post-translational modifications in proteins by mass spectrometry often requires the consideration of the alteration in ionization efficiency of peptides induced by the modification. Herein, we introduced a method to measure the relative ionization efficiencies of peptides using specifically designed unlabeled peptides. In our design, the peptide under study, in either the unmodified or modified form, is linked with an internal standard peptide via an enzyme cleavage site; thus, after enzymatic digestion, we could obtain readily a 1:1 ratio between the peptide under investigation and the internal standard peptide. The relative ionization efficiencies of the modified and unmodified peptides can then be calculated from the modification-induced change in the ratio of relative abundances of the ion of the peptide of interest over that of the internal standard peptide. We demonstrated the usefulness of the method by assessing the change in ionization efficiencies of four peptides introduced by phosphorylation.

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