Consecutive enzymatic reactions of analytes which are affinity bound to immobilized metal ion beads with subsequent direct analysis of the products by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry have been used for detecting phosphorylation sites. The usefulness of this method was demonstrated by analyzing two commercially available phosphoproteins, beta-casein and alpha-casein, as well as one phosphopeptide from a kinase reaction mixture. Agarose loaded with either Fe3+ or Ga3+ was used to isolate phosphopeptides from the protein digest. Results from using either metal ion were complementary. Less overall suppression effect was achieved when Ga3+-loaded agarose was used to isolate phosphopeptides. The selectivity for monophosphorylated peptides, however, was better with Fe3+-loaded agarose. This technique is easy to use and has the ability to analyze extremely complicated phosphopeptide mixtures. Moreover, it eliminates the need for prior high-performance liquid chromatography separation or radiolabeling, thus greatly simplifying the sample preparation.