Interrogating the hidden phosphoproteome

Proteomics. 2017 Mar;17(6):10.1002/pmic.201600437. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201600437.


Postgenomic studies continue to highlight the potential clinical importance of protein phosphorylation signaling pathways in drug discovery. Unfortunately, the dynamic range and variable stoichiometry of protein phosphorylation continues to stymie efforts to achieve comprehensive characterization of the human phosphoproteome. In this study, we develop a complementary, two-stage method for enrichment of cysteine-containing phosphopeptides combined with TMT multiplex labeling for relative quantification. The use of this approach with multidimensional fractionation in mammalian cells yielded more than 7000 unique cys-phosphopeptide sequences, comprising 15-20% novel phosphorylation sites. The use of our approach in combination with pharmacologic inhibitors of the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 and 2 identified several putatively novel protein substrates for the mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase.

Keywords: Cysteine-containing phosphoproteomome; Quantitative proteomics; mTOR; mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 and 2.

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Cysteine / metabolism
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Phosphopeptides / metabolism
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Substrate Specificity
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism


  • Phosphopeptides
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Proteome
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Cysteine