A robust method was developed and optimized for enrichment and quantitative analysis of posttranslational modifications (PTMs) in serum/plasma samples by combining immunoaffinity purification and LC-MS/MS without depletion of abundant proteins. The method was used to survey serum samples of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), breast cancer (BC), and nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Peptides were identified from serum samples containing phosphorylation, acetylation, lysine methylation, and arginine methylation. Of the PTMs identified, lysine acetylation (AcK) and arginine mono-methylation (Rme) were more prevalent than other PTMs. Label-free quantitative analysis of AcK and Rme peptides was performed for sera from AML, BC, and NSCLC patients. Several AcK and Rme sites showed distinct abundance distribution patterns across the three cancer types. The identification and quantification of posttranslationally modified peptides in serum samples reported here can be used for patient profiling and biomarker discovery research.
© 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.