Although acetylation is regarded as a common protein modification, a detailed proteome-wide profile of this post-translational modification may reveal important biological insight regarding differential acetylation of individual proteins. Here we optimized a novel peptide IEF fractionation method for use prior to LC-MS/MS analysis to obtain a more in depth coverage of N-terminally acetylated proteins from complex samples. Application of the method to the analysis of the serous ovarian cancer cell line OVCAR-5 identified 344 N-terminally acetylated proteins, 12 of which are previously unreported. The protein peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase A (PPIA) was detected in both the N-terminally acetylated and unmodified forms and was further analyzed by data-independent acquisition in carboplatin-responsive parental OVCAR-5 cells and carboplatin-resistant OVCAR-5 cells. This revealed a higher ratio of unacetylated to acetylated N-terminal PPIA in the parental compared with the carboplatin-resistant OVCAR-5 cells and a 4.1-fold increase in PPIA abundance overall in the parental cells relative to carboplatin-resistant OVCAR-5 cells (P = 0.015). In summary, the novel IEF peptide fractionation method presented here is robust, reproducible, and can be applied to the profiling of N-terminally acetylated proteins. All mass spectrometry data is available as a ProteomeXchange repository (PXD003547).
Keywords: N-terminal acetylation; PPIA; carboplatin resistance; chemoresistance; ovarian cancer; peptidyl-prolyl cis−trans isomerase A.