Phosphoproteomic analysis of synaptosomes from human cerebral cortex.
Protein phosphorylation is a crucial post-translational modification mechanism in the regulation of synaptic organization and function. Here, we analyzed synaptosome fractions from human cerebral cortex obtained during therapeutic surgery. To minimize changes in the phosphorylation state of proteins, the tissue was homogenized within two minutes of excision. Synaptosomal proteins were digested with trypsin and phosphopeptides were isolated by immobilized metal affinity chromatography and analyzed by liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. The method allowed the detection of residues on synaptic proteins that were presumably phosphorylated in the intact cell, including synapsin 1, syntaxin 1, and SNIP, PSD-93, NCAM, GABA-B receptor, chaperone molecules, and protein kinases. Some of the residues identified are the same or homologous to sites that had been previously described to be phosphorylated in mammals whereas others appear to be novel sites which, to our knowledge, have not been reported previously. The study shows that new phosphoproteomic strategies can be used to analyze subcellular fractions from small amounts of tissue for the identification of phosphorylated residues for research and potentially for diagnostic purposes.