Optimization of the β-elimination/michael addition chemistry on reversed-phase supports for mass spectrometry analysis of O-linked protein modifications

Heinz Nika, Edward Nieves, David H. Hawke, Ruth Hogue Angeletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We previously adapted the β-elimination/Michael addition chemistry to solid-phase derivatization on reversed-phase supports, and demonstrated the utility of this reaction format to prepare phosphoseryl peptides in unfractionated protein digests for mass spectrometric identification and facile phosphorylationsite determination. Here, we have expanded the use of this technique to β-N-acetylglucosamine peptides, modified at serine/threonine, phosphothreonyl peptides, and phosphoseryl/phosphothreonyl peptides, followed in sequence by proline. The consecutive β-elimination with Michael addition was adapted to optimize the solid-phase reaction conditions for throughput and completeness of derivatization. The analyte remained intact during derivatization and was recovered efficiently from the silica-based, reversed-phase support with minimal sample loss. The general use of the solid-phase approach for enzymatic dephosphorylation was demonstrated with phosphoseryl and phosphothreonyl peptides and was used as an orthogonal method to confirm the identity of phosphopeptides in proteolytic mixtures. The solid-phase approach proved highly suitable to prepare substrates from low-level amounts of protein digests for phosphorylation-site determination by chemical-targeted proteolysis. The solid-phase protocol provides for a simple, robust, and efficient tool to prepare samples for phosphopeptide identification in MALDI mass maps of unfractionated protein digests, using standard equipment available in most biological laboratories. The use of a solid-phase analytical platform is expected to be readily expanded to prepare digest from O-glycosylated- and O-sulfonated proteins for mass spectrometry-based structural characterization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-153
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Biomolecular Techniques
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • Chemical-targeted proteolysis
  • O-GlcNAcylation
  • Phosphoprotein characterization
  • Serial solid-phase derivatization
  • ZiptipC18 pipette tips

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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