A multi-modal proteomics strategy for characterizing posttranslational modifications of tumor suppressor p53 reveals many sites but few modified forms

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Caroline J DeHartNeil L Kelleher


Post-translational modifications (PTMs) are found on most proteins, particularly on 'hub' proteins like the tumor suppressor p53, which has over 100 possible PTM sites. Substantial crosstalk between PTM sites underlies the ability of such proteins to integrate diverse signals and coordinate downstream responses. However, disentangling the combinatorial explosion in global PTM patterns across an entire protein ('modforms') has been challenging, as conventional peptide-based mass spectrometry strategies (so-called 'bottom-up' MS) destroy such global correlations. Alternatively, direct analysis of intact and modified proteins using 'top-down' MS retains global information. Here, we applied both strategies to recombinant p53 phosphorylated in vitro with Chk1 kinase, which exhibited 41 modified sites by bottom-up MS, but no more than 8 modified sites per molecule detected by top-down MS. This observation that many low-abundance modifications comprise relatively few modforms above a 1% threshold indicates that endogenous p53 PTM complexity may be more definable than previously thought.

Related Concepts

Post-Translational Protein Processing
Recombinant Proteins
Mass Spectrometry
TP53 gene
Protein p53

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