Concerted experimental approach for sequential mapping of peptides and phosphopeptides using C18-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles

He Hsuan Hsiao, Hsin Yu Hsieh, Chi Chi Chou, Shu Yu Lin, Andrew H.J. Wang, Kay Hooi Khoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


An integrated analytical approach for the enrichment, detection, and sequencing of phosphopeptides using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) tandem mass spectrometry (MS) was developed. On the basis of C 18-functionalized Fe3O4 nanoparticles, the enrichment method was designed not only to specifically trap phosphopeptides, but also nonphosphorylated peptides, both of which can be subsequently desorbed selectively and directly for MALDI-MS analysis without an elution step. Peptide binding is afforded by the C18-derivatization, whereas the highly selective capture of phosphopeptides is based on higher binding affinity afforded by additional metal chelating interaction between the Fe 3O4 nanoparticles and the phosphate groups. Upon binding, the initial aqueous wash allows desalting, while a second and a third wash with high acetonitrile content coupled with diluted sulfuric acid and ammonia removes most of the bound nonphosphorylated peptides. Selective or sequential mapping of the peptides and phosphopeptides can, thus, be effected by spotting the washed nanoparticles onto the MALDI target plate along with judicious choice of matrices. The inclusion of phosphoric acid in a 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid matrix allows the desorption and detection of phosphopeptides, whereas an α-cyano-4-hydroxy-cinnamic acid matrix with formic acid allows only the desorption of nonphosphorylated peptides. The method used to enrich phosphopeptides prior to MS applications is more sensitive and tolerable to sodium dodecyl sulfate than IMAC. We have demonstrated the applicability of C18-functionalized Fe3O4 nanoparticles in the detection of in vitro phosphorylation sites on the myelin basic protein, and at least 17 phosphopeptides were identified, including one previously uncharacterized site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1313-1324
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Enrichment
  • Magnetic nanoparticles
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Phosphopeptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Chemistry


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