The Role of Phosphorylated Residues in Peptide-Peptide Noncovalent Complexes Formation

Shelley N. Jackson, Susanne C. Moyer, Amina S. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electrospray mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) has become the tool of choice for the study of noncovalent complexes. Our previous work has highlighted the role of phosphorylated amino acid residues in the formation of noncovalent complexes through electrostatic interaction with arginine residues' guanidinium groups. In this study, we employ tandem mass spectrometry to investigate the gas-phase stability and dissociation pathways of these noncovalent complexes. The only difference in the three phosphopeptides tested is the nature of the phosphorylated amino acid residue. In addition the absence of acidic residues and an amidated carboxyl terminus insured that the only negative charge came from the phosphate, which allowed for the comparison of the noncovalent bond between arginine residues and each of the different phosphorylated residues. Dissociation curves were generated by plotting noncovalent complex ion intensities as a function of the nominal energy given to the noncovalent complex ion before entering the collision cell. These results showed that noncovalent complexes formed with phosphorylated tyrosine were the most stable, followed by serine and threonine, which had similar stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1535-1541
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Spectroscopy


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