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Opposite Electron-Transfer Dissociation and Higher-Energy Collisional Dissociation Fragmentation Characteristics of Proteolytic K/R(X)n and (X)nK/R Peptides Provide Benefits for Peptide Sequencing in Proteomics and Phosphoproteomics

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posted on 21.11.2016, 00:00 by Liana Tsiatsiani, Piero Giansanti, Richard A. Scheltema, Henk van den Toorn, Christopher M. Overall, A.F. Maarten Altelaar, Albert J.R. Heck
A key step in shotgun proteomics is the digestion of proteins into peptides amenable for mass spectrometry. Tryptic peptides can be readily sequenced and identified by collision-induced dissociation (CID) or higher-energy collisional dissociation (HCD) because the fragmentation rules are well-understood. Here, we investigate LysargiNase, a perfect trypsin mirror protease, because it cleaves equally specific at arginine and lysine residues, albeit at the N-terminal end. LysargiNase peptides are therefore practically tryptic-like in length and sequence except that following ESI, the two protons are now both positioned at the N-terminus. Here, we compare side-by-side the chromatographic separation properties, gas-phase fragmentation characteristics, and (phospho)­proteome sequence coverage of tryptic (i.e., (X)nK/R) and LysargiNase (i.e., K/R­(X)n) peptides using primarily electron-transfer dissociation (ETD) and, for comparison, HCD. We find that tryptic and LysargiNase peptides fragment nearly as mirror images. For LysargiNase predominantly N-terminal peptide ions (c-ions (ETD) and b-ions (HCD)) are formed, whereas for trypsin, C-terminal fragment ions dominate (z-ions (ETD) and y-ions (HCD)) in a homologous mixture of complementary ions. Especially during ETD, LysargiNase peptides fragment into low-complexity but information-rich sequence ladders. Trypsin and LysargiNase chart distinct parts of the proteome, and therefore, the combined use of these enzymes will benefit a more in-depth and reliable analysis of (phospho)­proteomes.