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J Protein Chem. 1997 Jul;16(5):391-402.

The essential role of mass spectrometry in characterizing protein structure: mapping posttranslational modifications.

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Department of Physical and Structural Chemistry, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406, USA.


Over the last few years we have developed mass spectrometry-based approaches for selective identification of a variety of posttranslational modifications, and for sequencing the modified peptides. These methods do not involve radiolabeling or derivatization. Instead, modification-specific fragment ions are produced by collision-induced dissociation (CID) during analysis of peptides by ESMS. The formation and detection of these marker ions on-the-fly during the LC-ESMS analysis of a protein digest is a powerful technique for identifying posttranslationally modified peptides. Using the marker ion strategy in an orthogonal fashion, a precursor ion scan can detect peptides which give rise to a diagnostic fragment ion, even in an unfractionated protein digest. Once the modified peptide has been located, the appropriate precursor ion can be sequenced by tandem MS. The utility and interplay of this approach to mapping PTM is illustrated with examples that involve protein glycosylation and phosphorylation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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