Journal of proteome research

FLEXIQuant: a novel tool for the absolute quantification of proteins, and the simultaneous identification and quantification of potentially modified peptides.

PMID 19344176


Measurements of protein abundance and quantitative assessment of multiple post-translational modifications (PTMs) within a single protein are increasingly used to understand the control of protein activity, particularly in metazoan cells. General methods of wide applicability and precision/accuracy for quantitative estimation of protein post-translational regulation are lacking. Protein mass spectrometry has evolved from a high-throughput qualitative technique to a potentially general quantitative tool, but there are still serious limitations in dynamic range and coverage. To address some of these limitations, we introduce a novel MS-based quantitative strategy, FLEXIQuant, (Full-Length Expressed Stable Isotope-labeled Proteins for Quantification), which can track changes in relative peptide abundances as a function of PTM, and determine absolute quantity of a protein from its lysate. We examined two subunits of the anaphase-promoting complex, CDC27 and APC5, as a test of our ability to monitor quantitatively, the PTM status of several peptides over time. We find evidence of differential regulation at different sites, a phenomenon we believe will be very widespread. FLEXIQuant proved itself to be capable of serving as a general quantitative tool.