Systematic analysis of the in situ crosstalk of tyrosine modifications reveals no additional natural selection on multiply modified residues

Sci Rep. 2014 Dec 5:4:7331. doi: 10.1038/srep07331.


Recent studies have indicated that different post-translational modifications (PTMs) synergistically orchestrate specific biological processes by crosstalks. However, the preference of the crosstalk among different PTMs and the evolutionary constraint on the PTM crosstalk need further dissections. In this study, the in situ crosstalk at the same positions among three tyrosine PTMs including sulfation, nitration and phosphorylation were systematically analyzed. The experimentally identified sulfation, nitration and phosphorylation sites were collected and integrated with reliable predictions to perform large-scale analyses of in situ crosstalks. From the results, we observed that the in situ crosstalk between sulfation and nitration is significantly under-represented, whereas both sulfation and nitration prefer to co-occupy with phosphorylation at same tyrosines. Further analyses suggested that sulfation and nitration preferentially co-occur with phosphorylation at specific positions in proteins, and participate in distinct biological processes and functions. More interestingly, the long-term evolutionary analysis indicated that multi-PTM targeting tyrosines didn't show any higher conservation than singly modified ones. Also, the analysis of human genetic variations demonstrated that there is no additional functional constraint on inherited disease, cancer or rare mutations of multiply modified tyrosines. Taken together, our systematic analyses provided a better understanding of the in situ crosstalk among PTMs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / genetics*
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Selection, Genetic / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein
  • Tyrosine / genetics*


  • Proteins
  • Tyrosine