A comparative phosphoproteomic analysis of a human tumor metastasis model using a label-free quantitative approach

Xiaolei Xie, Shun Feng, Huy Vuong, Yashu Liu, Steve Goodison, David M. Lubman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Alterations in cellular phosphorylation patterns have been implicated in a number of diseases, including cancer, through multiple mechanisms. Herein we present a survey of the phosphorylation profiles of an isogenic pair of human cancer cell lines with opposite metastatic phenotype. Phosphopeptides were enriched from tumor cell lysates with titanium dioxide and zirconium dioxide, and identified with nano-LC-MS/MS using an automatic cross-validation of MS/MS and MS/MS/MS (MS21MS3) data-dependent neutral loss method. A spectral counting quantitative strategy was applied to the two cell line samples on the MS2-only scan, which was implemented successively after each MS21MS3 scan in the same sample. For all regulated phosphopeptides reported by spectral counting analysis, sequence and phosphorylation site assignments were validated by a MS21MS3 data-dependent neutral loss method. With this approach, we identified over 70 phosphorylated sites on 27 phosphoproteins as being differentially expressed with respect to tumor cell phenotype. The altered expression levels of proteins identified by LC-MS/MS were validated using Western blotting. Using network pathway analysis, we observed that the majority of the differentially expressed proteins were highly interconnected and belong to two major intracellular signaling pathways. Our findings suggest that the phosphorylation of isoform A of lamin A/C and GTPase activating protein binding protein 1 is associated with metastatic propensity. The study demonstrates a quantitative and comparative proteomics strategy to identify differential phosphorylation patterns in complex biological samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1842-1852
Number of pages11
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Breast cancer
  • Label-free
  • Metastasis
  • Phosphorylation
  • Quantification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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