Evaluation of the titanium dioxide approach for MS analysis of phosphopeptides

J Mass Spectrom. 2006 Dec;41(12):1623-32. doi: 10.1002/jms.1129.


The affinity of titanium dioxide for phosphate groups has been successfully used for enrichment of phosphopeptides from complex mixtures. This paper reports the relationship between the occurrence of some amino acids and the phospho-specific and nonspecific binding of peptides that occurs during titanium dioxide enrichment. In order to perform a systematic study, two well-characterized peptide mixtures consisting of either 33 or 8 synthetic phosphopeptides and their nonphosphorylated analogs, which differed in charge and hydrophobicity, were synthesized and analyzed by ESI-MS and MALDI-MS. The titanium dioxide procedure was also evaluated for comprehensive detection of phosphopeptides in phosphoproteomics. In summary, our results clearly confirm the high selectivity of titanium dioxide for phosphorylated sequences. Drastically reduced recovery was observed for phosphopeptides with multiple basic amino acids. Nonspecific binding of nonphosphorylated peptides and sample loss of phosphopeptides must also be taken into account.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelial Cells / chemistry
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Phosphopeptides / analysis*
  • Phosphopeptides / chemistry
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proteomics / instrumentation
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Rats
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization / methods*
  • Titanium / chemistry*


  • Phosphopeptides
  • titanium dioxide
  • Titanium