Protein oxidative modifications: new mass spectrometry approaches to detection in biological samples

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In inflammatory diseases, release of oxidants leads to oxidative damage to proteins. The precise nature of oxidative damage to individual proteins depends on the oxidant involved. Chlorination and nitration are markers of modification by the myeloperoxidase-H2O2-Cl- system and nitric oxide-derived oxidants, respectively. Although these modifications can be detected by western blotting, currently no reliable method exists to identify the specific sites damage to individual proteins in complex mixtures such as clinical samples. We are developing novel LCMS2 and precursor ion scanning methods to address this. LC-MS2 allows separation of peptides and detection of mass changes in oxidized residues on fragmentation of the peptides. We have identified indicative fragment ions for chlorotyrosine, nitrotyrosine, hydroxytyrosine and hydroxytryptophan. A nano-LC/MS3 method involving the dissociation of immonium ions to give specific fragments for the oxidized
residues has been developed to overcome the problem of false positives from ions isobaric to these immonium ions that exist in unmodified peptides. The approach has proved able to identify precise protein modifications in individual proteins and mixtures of proteins. An alternative methodology involves multiple reaction monitoring for precursors and fragment ions are specific to oxidized and chlorinated proteins, and this has been tested with human serum albumin. Our ultimate aim is to apply this methodology to the detection of oxidative post-translational modifications in clinical samples for disease diagnosis, monitoring the outcomes of therapy, and improved understanding of disease biochemistry.

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventSFRR Europe Meeting 2009 Free radicals, Health and Lifestyle: from cell signalling to disease prevention - Roma, Italy
Duration: 27 Sep 2009 → …


ConferenceSFRR Europe Meeting 2009 Free radicals, Health and Lifestyle: from cell signalling to disease prevention
Period27/09/09 → …

Bibliographic note

Abstract published online in Abstracts, Free Radical Research, 43(s1) p.S43.


  • mass spectrometry, oxidants, oxidative damage, protein, protein modifications, Science (General)

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