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Large-scale identification of endogenous secretory peptides using electron transfer dissociation mass spectrometry.

Sasaki K., Osaki T., Minamino N.

Mass spectrometry-based unbiased analysis of the full complement of secretory peptides is expected to facilitate the identification of unknown biologically active peptides. However, tandem MS sequencing of endogenous peptides in their native form has proven difficult because they show size heterogeneity and contain multiple internal basic residues, the characteristics not found in peptide fragments produced by in vitro digestion. Endogenous peptides remain largely unexplored by electron transfer dissociation (ETD), despite its widespread use in bottom-up proteomics. We used ETD, in comparison to collision induced dissociation (CID), to identify endogenous peptides derived from secretory granules of a human endocrine cell line. For mass accuracy, both MS and tandem MS were analyzed on an Orbitrap. CID and ETD, performed in different LC-MS runs, resulted in the identification of 795 and 569 unique peptides (ranging from 1000 to 15000 Da), respectively, with an overlap of 397. Peptides larger than 3000 Da accounted for 54% in CID and 46% in ETD identifications. Although numerically outperformed by CID, ETD provided more extensive fragmentation, leading to the identification of peptides that are not reached by CID. This advantage was demonstrated in identifying a new antimicrobial peptide from neurosecretory protein VGF (non-acronymic), VGF[554-577]-NH2, or in differentiating nearly isobaric peptides (mass difference less than 2 ppm) that arise from alternatively spliced exons of the gastrin-releasing peptide gene. CID and ETD complemented each other to add to our knowledge of the proteolytic processing sites of proteins implicated in the regulated secretory pathway. An advantage of the use of both fragmentation methods was also noted in localization of phosphorylation sites. These findings point to the utility of ETD mass spectrometry in the global study of endogenous peptides, or peptidomics.

Mol. Cell. Proteomics 12:700-709(2013) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]