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Amino Acids. 2012 Sep;43(3):1009-24. doi: 10.1007/s00726-012-1288-9. Epub 2012 Jul 22.

Advances in phosphopeptide enrichment techniques for phosphoproteomics.

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Analytical Signalling Group, Centre for Cell Signalling, Barts Cancer Institute-CR-UK Centre of Excellence, Queen Mary University of London, John Vane Science Centre, Charterhouse Square, London, UK.


Phosphoproteomics is increasingly used to address a wide range of biological questions. However, despite some success, techniques for phosphoproteomics are not without challenges. Phosphoproteins are present in cells in low abundance relative to their unphosphorylated counterparts; therefore phosphorylated proteins (or phosphopeptides after protein digestion) are rarely detected in standard shotgun proteomics experiments. Thus, extraction of phosphorylated polypeptides from complex mixtures is a critical step in the success of phosphoproteomics experiments. Intense research over the last decade has resulted in the development of powerful techniques for phosphopeptide enrichment prior to analysis by mass spectrometry. Here, we review how the development of IMAC, MOAC, chemical derivatization and antibody affinity purification and chromatography is contributing to the evolution of phosphoproteomics techniques. Although further developments are needed for the technology to reach maturity, current state-of-the-art techniques can already be used as powerful tools for biological research.

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