At sufficiently high mass accuracy, it is possible to distinguish phosphorylated from unmodified peptides by mass measurement alone. We examine the feasibility of that idea, tested against a library of all possible in silico tryptic digest peptides from the human proteome database. The overlaps between in silico tryptic digest phosphopeptides generated from known phosphorylated proteins (1-12 sites) and all possible unmodified human peptides are considered for assumed mass error ranges of ±10, ±50, ±100, ±1000, and ±10,000 ppb. We find that for mass error ±50 ppb, 95% of all phosphorylated human tryptic peptides can be distinguished from nonmodified peptides by accurate mass alone throughout the entire nominal mass range. We discuss the prospect of on-line LC MS/MS to identify phosphopeptide precursor ions in MS1 for selected dissociation in MS2 to identify the peptide and site(s) of phosphorylation.
- Exact mass
- Fourier transform mass spectrometry
- Human proteome
- Ion cyclotron resonance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry