Regulatory protein phosphorylation controls normal and pathophysiological signaling in eukaryotic cells. Despite great advances in mass-spectrometry-based proteomics, the extent, localization, and site-specific stoichiometry of this posttranslational modification (PTM) are unknown. Here, we develop a stringent experimental and computational workflow, capable of mapping more than 50,000 distinct phosphorylated peptides in a single human cancer cell line. We detected more than three-quarters of cellular proteins as phosphoproteins and determined very high stoichiometries in mitosis or growth factor signaling by label-free quantitation. The proportion of phospho-Tyr drastically decreases as coverage of the phosphoproteome increases, whereas Ser/Thr sites saturate only for technical reasons. Tyrosine phosphorylation is maintained at especially low stoichiometric levels in the absence of specific signaling events. Unexpectedly, it is enriched on higher-abundance proteins, and this correlates with the substrate KM values of tyrosine kinases. Our data suggest that P-Tyr should be considered a functionally separate PTM of eukaryotic proteomes.
Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.