A method for the determination of phosphorylation sites in phosphoproteins based on column-switching high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) has been developed. The HPLC system consisted of a titania precolumn for the selective adsorption of phosphopeptides, an anion-exchange analytical column and a UV detector (215 nm). Rabbit muscle phosphorylase a (RPa) and porcine stomach pepsin (PSP) were tested as model phosphoproteins. After protease digestion, the resulting phosphopeptides were successfully isolated by column-switching HPLC. The phosphopeptide fractions were analyzed by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry with a positive or negative ion mode after purification by reversed-phase HPLC. Pseudo-molecular ion peaks corresponding to Gln-Ile-Ser(p)-Val-Arg (MW 681.7) and Glu-Ala-Thr-Ser(p)-Gln-Glu-Leu (MW 856.8) were detected from the tryptic digest of RPa and chymotryptic digest of PSP, respectively, which agreed with the theoretically expected phosphopeptide fragments.
2004 by The Japan Society for Analytical Chemistry