Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry

Data-independent-acquisition mass spectrometry for identification of targeted-peptide site-specific modifications.

PMID 26105512


We present a novel strategy based on data-independent acquisition coupled to targeted data extraction for the detection and identification of site-specific modifications of targeted peptides in a completely unbiased manner. This method requires prior knowledge of the site of the modification along the peptide backbone from the protein of interest, but not the mass of the modification. The procedure, named multiplex adduct peptide profiling (MAPP), consists of three steps: 1) A fragment-ion tag is extracted from the data, consisting of the b-type and y-type ion series from the N and C-terminus, respectively, up to the amino-acid position that is believed to be modified; 2) MS1 features are matched to the fragment-ion tag in retention-time space, using the isolation window as a pre-filter to enable calculation of the mass of the modification; and 3) modified fragment ions are overlaid with the unmodified fragment ions to verify the mass calculated in step 2. We discuss the development, applications, and limitations of this new method for detection of unknown peptide modifications. We present an application of the method in profiling adducted peptides derived from abundant proteins in biological fluids with the ultimate objective of detecting biomarkers of exposure to reactive species.