Candidate verification of iron-regulated Neisseria meningitidis proteins using isotopic versions of tandem mass tags (TMT) and single reaction monitoring

J Proteomics. 2009 Dec 1;73(2):231-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2009.09.002. Epub 2009 Sep 22.


Tandem Mass Tags (TMT) are suited to both global and targeted quantitation approaches of proteins and peptides. Different versions of these tags allow for the generation of both isobaric and isotopic sets of reagents sharing the same common structure. This feature allows for a straightforward transfer of data obtained during discovery studies into targeted investigations. In prior discovery studies, an isobaric set of these reagents was used to identify Neisseria meningitidis proteins expressed under iron-limitation. Here, we apply isotopic versions of those reagents in combination with single reaction monitoring to verify selected candidates found to be differentially regulated in these discovery studies, representing both well-known and novel iron-regulated proteins, such as the MtrCDE drug efflux pump. In this targeted approach (TMT-SRM), the selectivity of SRM is maintained while allowing the incorporation of an internal reference standard into the experiment. By monitoring 184 transitions, TMT-SRM resulted in the quantitation of 33 peptides representing 12 proteins. The acquired data corroborated the results obtained during the discovery phase. Furthermore, these data obtained by MS-based quantitation of peptides were independently confirmed by western blotting results, an orthogonal approach based on quantitation at the protein level.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / analysis*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial / drug effects*
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Iron / pharmacology*
  • Isotopes
  • Neisseria meningitidis / chemistry*
  • Neisseria meningitidis / metabolism
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Isotopes
  • Iron