Quantitative proteomics indicate a strong correlation of mitotic phospho-/dephosphorylation with non-structured regions of substrates

Biochim Biophys Acta Proteins Proteom. 2020 Jan;1868(1):140295. doi: 10.1016/j.bbapap.2019.140295. Epub 2019 Oct 30.


Protein phosphorylation plays a critical role in the regulation and progression of mitosis. >40,000 phosphorylated residues and the associated kinases have been identified to date via proteomic analyses. Although some of these phosphosites are associated with regulation of either protein-protein interactions or the catalytic activity of the substrate protein, the roles of most mitotic phosphosites remain unclear. In this study, we examined structural properties of mitotic phosphosites and neighboring residues to understand the role of heavy phosphorylation in non-structured domains. Quantitative mass spectrometry analysis of mitosis-arrested and non-arrested HeLa cells revealed >4100 and > 2200 residues either significantly phosphorylated or dephosphorylated, respectively, at mitotic entry. The calculated disorder scores of amino acid sequences of neighboring individual phosphosites revealed that >70% of dephosphorylated phosphosites exist in disordered regions, whereas 50% of phosphorylated sites exist in non-structured domains. A clear inverse correlation was observed between probability of phosphorylation in non-structured domain and increment of phosphorylation in mitosis. These results indicate that at entry to mitosis, a significant number of phosphate groups are removed from non-structured domains and transferred to more-structured domains. Gene ontology term analysis revealed that mitosis-related proteins are heavily phosphorylated, whereas RNA-related proteins are both dephosphorylated and phosphorylated, suggesting that heavy phosphorylation/dephosphorylation in non-structured domains of RNA-binding proteins plays a role in dynamic rearrangement of RNA-containing organelles, as well as other intracellular environments.

Keywords: Intrinsically disordered region; Mitosis; Phosphorylation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Mitosis*
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proteomics


  • Phosphoproteins