Phosphoproteome analysis reveals regulatory sites in major pathways of cardiac mitochondria

Mol Cell Proteomics. 2011 Feb;10(2):M110.000117. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M110.000117. Epub 2010 May 22.


Mitochondrial functions are dynamically regulated in the heart. In particular, protein phosphorylation has been shown to be a key mechanism modulating mitochondrial function in diverse cardiovascular phenotypes. However, site-specific phosphorylation information remains scarce for this organ. Accordingly, we performed a comprehensive characterization of murine cardiac mitochondrial phosphoproteome in the context of mitochondrial functional pathways. A platform using the complementary fragmentation technologies of collision-induced dissociation (CID) and electron transfer dissociation (ETD) demonstrated successful identification of a total of 236 phosphorylation sites in the murine heart; 210 of these sites were novel. These 236 sites were mapped to 181 phosphoproteins and 203 phosphopeptides. Among those identified, 45 phosphorylation sites were captured only by CID, whereas 185 phosphorylation sites, including a novel modification on ubiquinol-cytochrome c reductase protein 1 (Ser-212), were identified only by ETD, underscoring the advantage of a combined CID and ETD approach. The biological significance of the cardiac mitochondrial phosphoproteome was evaluated. Our investigations illustrated key regulatory sites in murine cardiac mitochondrial pathways as targets of phosphorylation regulation, including components of the electron transport chain (ETC) complexes and enzymes involved in metabolic pathways (e.g. tricarboxylic acid cycle). Furthermore, calcium overload injured cardiac mitochondrial ETC function, whereas enhanced phosphorylation of ETC via application of phosphatase inhibitors restored calcium-attenuated ETC complex I and complex III activities, demonstrating positive regulation of ETC function by phosphorylation. Moreover, in silico analyses of the identified phosphopeptide motifs illuminated the molecular nature of participating kinases, which included several known mitochondrial kinases (e.g. pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase) as well as kinases whose mitochondrial location was not previously appreciated (e.g. Src). In conclusion, the phosphorylation events defined herein advance our understanding of cardiac mitochondrial biology, facilitating the integration of the still fragmentary knowledge about mitochondrial signaling networks, metabolic pathways, and intrinsic mechanisms of functional regulation in the heart.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods
  • Electron Transport
  • Heart / physiology
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Phenotype
  • Phosphorylation
  • Phosphotransferases / chemistry
  • Proteomics / methods*


  • Peptides
  • Phosphotransferases