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Electrophoresis. 2014 Dec;35(24):3463-9. doi: 10.1002/elps.201400022. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

Tissue phosphoproteomics with PolyMAC identifies potential therapeutic targets in a transgenic mouse model of HER2 positive breast cancer.

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Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.


Altered protein phosphorylation is a feature of many human cancers that can be targeted therapeutically. Phosphopeptide enrichment is a critical step for maximizing the depth of phosphoproteome coverage by MS, but remains challenging for tissue specimens because of their high complexity. We describe the first analysis of a tissue phosphoproteome using polymer-based metal ion affinity capture (PolyMAC), a nanopolymer that has excellent yield and specificity for phosphopeptide enrichment, on a transgenic mouse model of HER2-driven breast cancer. By combining phosphotyrosine immunoprecipitation with PolyMAC, 411 unique peptides with 139 phosphotyrosine, 45 phosphoserine, and 29 phosphothreonine sites were identified from five LC-MS/MS runs. Combining reverse phase liquid chromatography fractionation at pH 8.0 with PolyMAC identified 1571 unique peptides with 1279 phosphoserine, 213 phosphothreonine, and 21 phosphotyrosine sites from eight LC-MS/MS runs. Linear motif analysis indicated that many of the phosphosites correspond to well-known phosphorylation motifs. Analysis of the tyrosine phosphoproteome with the Drug Gene Interaction database uncovered a network of potential therapeutic targets centered on Src family kinases with inhibitors that are either FDA-approved or in clinical development. These results demonstrate that PolyMAC is well suited for phosphoproteomic analysis of tissue specimens.


Breast Cancer; Drug identification; HER2; Phosphoproteomics; PolyMAC

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