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Proteomics. 2009 Oct;9(20):4632-41. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200900398.

Modification-specific proteomics: strategies for characterization of post-translational modifications using enrichment techniques.

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The Ben May Department for Cancer Research, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.


More than 300 different types of protein post-translational modifications (PTMs) have been described, many of which are known to have pivotal roles in cellular physiology and disease. Nevertheless, only a handful of PTMs have been extensively investigated at the proteome level. Knowledge of protein substrates and their PTM sites is key to dissection of PTM-mediated cellular processes. The past several years have seen a tremendous progress in developing MS-based proteomics technologies for global PTM analysis, including numerous studies of yeast and other microbes. Modification-specific enrichment techniques combined with advanced MS/MS methods and computational data analysis have revealed a surprisingly large extent of PTMs in proteins, including multi-site, cooperative modifications in individual proteins. We review some of the current strategies employed for enrichment and detection of PTMs in modification-specific proteomics.

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