Nitropeptide Profiling and Identification Illustrated by Angiotensin II

This article has been accepted and is currently in production


Protein nitration is one of the most important post-translational modifications (PTM) on tyrosine residues and it can be induced by chemical actions of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) in eukaryotic cells. Precise identification of nitration sites on proteins is crucial for understanding the physiological and pathological processes related to protein nitration, such as inflammation, aging, and cancer. Since the nitrated proteins are of low abundance in cells even under induced conditions, no universal and efficient methods have been developed for the profiling and identification of protein nitration sites. Here we describe a protocol for nitropeptide enrichment by using a chemical reduction reaction and biotin labeling, followed by high resolution mass spectrometry. In our method, nitropeptide derivatives can be identified with high accuracy. Our method exhibits two advantages compared to the previously reported methods. First, dimethyl labeling is used to block the primary amine on nitropeptides, which can be used to generate quantitative results. Second, a disulfide bond containing NHS-biotin reagent is used for the enrichment, which can be further reduced and alkylated to enhance the detection signal on a mass spectrometer. This protocol has been successfully applied to the model peptide Angiotensin II in the current paper.