Phosphoproteome analysis of human liver tissue by long-gradient nanoflow LC coupled with multiple stage MS analysis

Electrophoresis. 2010 Mar;31(6):1080-9. doi: 10.1002/elps.200900493.


Reversible protein phosphorylation plays a critical role in liver development and function. Comprehensively cataloging the phosphoproteins and their phosphorylation sites in human liver tissue will facilitate the understanding of physiological and pathological mechanisms of liver. Owing to lacking of efficient approach to fractionate phosphopeptides, nanoflow-RPLC with long-gradient elution was applied to reduce the complexity of the phosphopeptides in this study. Two approaches were performed to further improve the coverage of phosphoproteome analysis of human liver tissue. In one approach, ten-replicated long-gradient LC-MS/MS runs were performed to analyze the enriched phosphopeptides, which resulted in the localization of 1080 phosphorylation sites from 495 proteins. In another approach, proteins from liver tissue were first fractionated by SDS-PAGE and then long-gradient LC-MS/MS analysis was performed to analyze the phosphopeptides derived from each fraction, which resulted in the localization of 1786 phosphorylation sites from 911 proteins. The two approaches showed the complementation in phosphoproteome analysis of human liver tissue. Combining the results of the two approaches, identification of 2225 nonredundant phosphorylation sites from 1023 proteins was obtained. The confidence of phosphopeptide identifications was strictly controlled with false discovery rate (FDR) < or = 1% by a MS(2)/MS(3) target-decoy database search approach. Among the localized 2225 phosphorylated sites, as many as 70.07% (1559 phosphorylated sites) were also reported by others, which confirmed the high confidence of the sites determined in this study. Considering the data acquired from low accuracy mass spectrometer and processed by a conservative MS(2)/MS(3) target-decoy approach, the number of localized phosphorylation sites obtained for human liver tissue in this study is quite impressive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Humans
  • Liver / chemistry
  • Phosphopeptides / analysis
  • Phosphoproteins / analysis*
  • Phosphoproteins / isolation & purification
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proteome / analysis*
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Phosphopeptides
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Proteome