Simultaneous Detection of Human C‑Terminal p53 Isoforms by Single Template Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) Coupled with Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)-Based Targeted Proteomics

2018-02-15T20:20:01Z (GMT) by Wenting Jiang Liang Liu Yun Chen
Abnormal expression of C-terminal p53 isoforms α, β, and γ can cause the development of cancers including breast cancer. To date, much evidence has demonstrated that these isoforms can differentially regulate target genes and modulate their expression. Thus, quantification of individual isoforms may help to link clinical outcome to p53 status and to improve cancer patient treatment. However, there are few studies on accurate determination of p53 isoforms, probably due to sequence homology of these isoforms and also their low abundance. In this study, a targeted proteomics assay combining molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was developed for simultaneous quantification of C-terminal p53 isoforms. Isoform-specific surrogate peptides (i.e., KPLD­GEYF­TLQIR (peptide-α) for isoform α, KPLD­GEYF­TLQD­QTSF­QK (peptide-β) for isoform β, and KPLD­GEYF­TLQM­LLDLR (peptide-γ) for isoform γ) were first selected and used in both MIPs enrichment and mass spectrometric detection. The common sequence KPLD­GEYF­TLQ of these three surrogate peptides was used as single template in MIPs. In addition to optimization of imprinting conditions and characterization of the prepared MIPs, binding affinity and cross-reactivity of the MIPs for each surrogate peptide were also evaluated. As a result, a LOQ of 5 nM was achieved, which was >15-fold more sensitive than that without MIPs. Finally, the assay was validated and applied to simultaneous quantitative analysis of C-terminal p53 isoforms α, β, and γ in several human breast cell lines (i.e., MCF-10A normal cells, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cancer cells, and drug-resistant MCF-7/ADR cancer cells). This study is among the first to employ single template MIPs and cross-reactivity phenomenon to select isoform-specific surrogate peptides and enable simultaneous quantification of protein isoforms in LC-MS/MS-based targeted proteomics.