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Nat Biotechnol. 2011 Jun 26;29(7):653-8. doi: 10.1038/nbt.1905.

Selected reaction monitoring mass spectrometry reveals the dynamics of signaling through the GRB2 adaptor.

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Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Health Complex, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Signaling pathways are commonly organized through inducible protein-protein interactions, mediated by adaptor proteins that link activated receptors to cytoplasmic effectors. However, we have little quantitative data regarding the kinetics with which such networks assemble and dissolve to generate specific cellular responses. To address this deficiency, we designed a mass spectrometry method, affinity purification-selected reaction monitoring (AP-SRM), which we used to comprehensively and quantitatively investigate changes in protein interactions with GRB2, an adaptor protein that participates in a remarkably diverse set of protein complexes involved in multiple aspects of cellular function. Our data reliably define context-specific and time-dependent networks that form around GRB2 after stimulation, and reveal core and growth factor-selective complexes comprising 90 proteins identified as interacting with GRB2 in HEK293T cells. Capturing a key hub protein and dissecting its interactions by SRM should be equally applicable to quantifying signaling dynamics for a range of hubs in protein interaction networks.

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