Accurate multiplexed proteomics at the MS2 level using the complement reporter ion cluster.
ABSTRACT: Isobaric labeling strategies, such as isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) or tandem mass tags (TMT), have promised to dramatically increase the power of quantitative proteomics. However, when applied to complex mixtures, both the accuracy and precision are undermined by interfering peptide ions that coisolate and cofragment with the target peptide. Additional gas-phase isolation steps, such as proton-transfer ion-ion reactions (PTR) or higher-order MS3 scans, can almost completely eliminate this problem. Unfortunately, these methods come at the expense of decreased acquisition speed and sensitivity. Here we present a method that allows accurate quantification of TMT-labeled peptides at the MS2 level without additional ion purification. Quantification is based on the fragment ion cluster that carries most of the TMT mass balance. In contrast to the use of low m/z reporter ions, the localization of these complement TMT (TMT(C)) ions in the spectrum is precursor-specific; coeluting peptides do not generally affect the measurement of the TMT(C) ion cluster of interest. Unlike the PTR or MS3 strategies, this method can be implemented on a wide range of high-resolution mass spectrometers like the quadrupole Orbitrap instruments (QExactive). A current limitation of the method is that the efficiency of TMT(C) ion formation is affected by both peptide sequence and peptide ion charge state; we discuss potential routes to overcome this problem. Finally, we show that the complement reporter ion approach allows parallelization of multiplexed quantification and therefore holds the potential to multiply the number of distinct peptides that can be quantified in a given time frame.
Project description:Protein phosphorylation is critically important for many cellular processes, including progression through the cell cycle, cellular metabolism, and differentiation. Isobaric labeling, for example, tandem mass tags (TMT), in phosphoproteomics workflows enables both relative and absolute quantitation of these phosphorylation events. Traditional TMT workflows identify peptides using fragment ions at the MS2 level and quantify reporter ions at the MS3 level. However, in addition to the TMT reporter ions, MS3 spectra also include fragment ions that can be used to identify peptides. Here we describe using MS3 spectra for both phosphopeptide identification and quantification, a process that we term MS3-IDQ. To maximize quantified phosphopeptides, we optimize several instrument parameters, including the modality of mass analyzer (i.e., ion trap or Orbitrap), MS2 automatic gain control (AGC), and MS3 normalized collision energy (NCE), to achieve the best balance of identified and quantified peptides. Our optimized MS3-IDQ method included the following parameters for the MS3 scan: NCE = 37.5 and AGC target = 1.5 × 105, and scan range = 100-2000. Data from the MS3 scan were complementary to those of the MS2 scan, and the combination of these scans can increase phosphoproteome coverage by >50%, thereby yielding a greater number of quantified and accurately localized phosphopeptides.
Project description:Multiplexed quantitation via isobaric chemical tags (e.g., tandem mass tags (TMT) and isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)) has the potential to revolutionize quantitative proteomics. However, until recently the utility of these tags was questionable due to reporter ion ratio distortion resulting from fragmentation of coisolated interfering species. These interfering signals can be negated through additional gas-phase manipulations (e.g., MS/MS/MS (MS3) and proton-transfer reactions (PTR)). These methods, however, have a significant sensitivity penalty. Using isolation waveforms with multiple frequency notches (i.e., synchronous precursor selection, SPS), we coisolated and cofragmented multiple MS2 fragment ions, thereby increasing the number of reporter ions in the MS3 spectrum 10-fold over the standard MS3 method (i.e., MultiNotch MS3). By increasing the reporter ion signals, this method improves the dynamic range of reporter ion quantitation, reduces reporter ion signal variance, and ultimately produces more high-quality quantitative measurements. To demonstrate utility, we analyzed biological triplicates of eight colon cancer cell lines using the MultiNotch MS3 method. Across all the replicates we quantified 8,378 proteins in union and 6,168 proteins in common. Taking into account that each of these quantified proteins contains eight distinct cell-line measurements, this data set encompasses 174,704 quantitative ratios each measured in triplicate across the biological replicates. Herein, we demonstrate that the MultiNotch MS3 method uniquely combines multiplexing capacity with quantitative sensitivity and accuracy, drastically increasing the informational value obtainable from proteomic experiments.
Project description:Isobaric labeling quantification by mass spectrometry (MS) has emerged as a powerful technology for multiplexed large-scale protein profiling, but measurement accuracy in complex mixtures is confounded by the interference from coisolated ions, resulting in ratio compression. Here we report that the ratio compression can be essentially resolved by the combination of pre-MS peptide fractionation, MS2-based interference detection, and post-MS computational interference correction. To recapitulate the complexity of biological samples, we pooled tandem mass tag (TMT)-labeled Escherichia coli peptides at 1:3:10 ratios and added in ?20-fold more rat peptides as background, followed by the analysis of two-dimensional liquid chromatography (LC)-MS/MS. Systematic investigation shows that quantitative interference was impacted by LC fractionation depth, MS isolation window, and peptide loading amount. Exhaustive fractionation (320 × 4 h) can nearly eliminate the interference and achieve results comparable to the MS3-based method. Importantly, the interference in MS2 scans can be estimated by the intensity of contaminated y1 product ions, and we thus developed an algorithm to correct reporter ion ratios of tryptic peptides. Our data indicate that intermediate fractionation (40 × 2 h) and y1 ion-based correction allow accurate and deep TMT profiling of more than 10?000 proteins, which represents a straightforward and affordable strategy in isobaric labeling proteomics.
Project description:Multiplexed, isobaric tagging methods are powerful techniques to increase throughput, precision, and accuracy in quantitative proteomics. The dynamic range and accuracy of quantitation, however, can be limited by coisolation of tag-containing peptides that release reporter ions and conflate quantitative measurements across precursors. Methods to alleviate these effects often lead to the loss of protein and peptide identifications through online or offline filtering of interference containing spectra. To alleviate this effect, high-Field Asymmetric-waveform Ion Mobility Spectroscopy (FAIMS) has been proposed as a method to reduce precursor coisolation and improve the accuracy and dynamic range of multiplex quantitation. Here we tested the use of FAIMS to improve quantitative accuracy using previously established TMT-based interference standards (triple-knockout [TKO] and Human-Yeast Proteomics Resource [HYPER]). We observed that FAIMS robustly improved the quantitative accuracy of both high-resolution MS2 (HRMS2) and synchronous precursor selection MS3 (SPS-MS3)-based methods without sacrificing protein identifications. We further optimized and characterized the main factors that enable robust use of FAIMS for multiplexed quantitation. We highlight these factors and provide method recommendations to take advantage of FAIMS technology to improve isobaric-tag-quantification moving forward.
Project description:The recently developed and commercially available carbonyl-reactive tandem mass tags (aminoxyTMT) enable multiplexed quantification of glycans through comparison of reporter ion intensities. However, challenges still exist for collision activated dissociation (CAD) MS/MS based quantification of aminoxyTMT due to the relatively low reporter ion yield especially for glycans with labile structures. To circumvent this limitation, we utilized the unique structural features of N-glycan molecules, the common core sugar sequence (HexNAc)2(Man)3, and common m/z of Yn ions generated from different types of precursors by MS/MS and designed a Y1 ion triggered, targeted MultiNotch MS3 relative quantification approach based on aminoxyTMT labeling. This approach was implemented on a nanoHILIC-Tribrid quadrupole-ion trap-Orbitrap platform, which enables prescreening of aminoxyTMT labeled N-glycan precursor ions by Y1 ion fragment ion mass in a higher-energy collisional dissociation (HCD) MS/MS scan and coisolation and cofragmentation of multiple Yn fragment ions that carry the isobaric tags from the inclusion list in the MS/MS/MS scan. Through systematical optimization and evaluation using N-glycans released from several glycoprotein standards and human serum proteins, we demonstrated that the Y1 ion triggered, targeted MultiNotch MS3 approach offers improved accuracy, precision, and sensitivity for relative quantification compared to traditional data-dependent MS2 and Y1 ion MS3 quantification methods.
Project description:Improving analytical precision is a major goal in quantitative differential proteomics as high precision ensures low numbers of outliers, a source of false positives with regard to quantification. In addition, higher precision increases statistical power, i.e., the probability to detect significant differences. With chemical labeling using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) or tandem mass tag (TMT) reagents, quantification is based on the extraction of reporter ions from tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) spectra. We compared the performance of two versions of the LTQ Orbitrap higher energy collisional dissociation (HCD) cell with and without an axial electric field with regard to reporter ion quantification. The HCD cell with the axial electric field was designed to push fragment ions into the C-trap and this version is mounted in current Orbitrap XL ETD and Orbitrap Velos instruments. Our goal was to evaluate whether the purported improvement in ion transmission had a measurable impact on the precision of MS/MS based quantification using peptide labeling with isobaric tags. We show that the axial electric field led to an increased percentage of HCD spectra in which the complete set of reporter ions was detected and, even more important, to a reduction in overall variance, i.e., improved analytical precision of the acquired data. Notably, adequate precision of HCD-based quantification was maintained even for low precursor ion intensities of a complex biological sample. These findings may help researchers in their design of quantitative proteomics studies using isobaric tags and establish HCD-based quantification on the LTQ Orbitrap as a highly precise approach in quantitative proteomics.
Project description:Peptide labeling with isobaric tags has become a popular technique in quantitative shotgun proteomics. Using two different samples viz. a protein mixture and HeLa extracts, we show that three commercially available isobaric tags differ with regard to peptide identification rates: The number of identified proteins and peptides was largest with iTRAQ 4-plex, followed by TMT 6-plex, and smallest with iTRAQ 8-plex. In all experiments, we employed a previously described method where two scans were acquired for each precursor on an LTQ Orbitrap: A CID scan under standard settings for identification, and a HCD scan for quantification. The observed differences in identification rates were similar when data was searched with either Mascot or Sequest. We consider these findings to be the result of a combination of several factors, most notably prominent ions in CID spectra as a consequence of loss of fragments of the label tag from precursor ions. These fragment ions cannot be explained by current search engines and were observed to have a negative impact on peptide scores.
Project description:Quantitative analysis of proteomes across multiple time points, organelles, and perturbations is essential for understanding both fundamental biology and disease states. The development of isobaric tags (e.g., TMT) has enabled the simultaneous measurement of peptide abundances across several different conditions. These multiplexed approaches are promising in principle because of advantages in throughput and measurement quality. However, in practice, existing multiplexing approaches suffer from key limitations. In its simple implementation (TMT-MS2), measurements are distorted by chemical noise leading to poor measurement accuracy. The current state-of-the-art (TMT-MS3) addresses this but requires specialized quadrupole-iontrap-Orbitrap instrumentation. The complement reporter ion approach (TMTc) produces high accuracy measurements and is compatible with many more instruments, like quadrupole-Orbitraps. However, the required deconvolution of the TMTc cluster leads to poor measurement precision. Here, we introduce TMTc+, which adds the modeling of the MS2-isolation step into the deconvolution algorithm. The resulting measurements are comparable in precision to TMT-MS3/MS2. The improved duty cycle and lower filtering requirements make TMTc+ more sensitive than TMT-MS3 and comparable with TMT-MS2. At the same time, unlike TMT-MS2, TMTc+ is exquisitely able to distinguish signal from chemical noise even outperforming TMT-MS3. Lastly, we compare TMTc+ to quantitative label-free proteomics of total HeLa lysate and find that TMTc+ quantifies 7.8k versus 3.9k proteins in a 5-plex sample. At the same time, the median coefficient of variation improves from 13% to 4%. Thus, TMTc+ advances quantitative proteomics by enabling accurate, sensitive, and precise multiplexed experiments on more commonly used instruments.
Project description:As a driver for many biological processes, phosphorylation remains an area of intense research interest. Advances in multiplexed quantitation utilizing isobaric tags (e.g., TMT and iTRAQ) have the potential to create a new paradigm in quantitative proteomics. New instrumentation and software are propelling these multiplexed workflows forward, which results in more accurate, sensitive, and reproducible quantitation across tens of thousands of phosphopeptides. This study assesses the performance of multiplexed quantitative phosphoproteomics on the Orbitrap Fusion mass spectrometer. Utilizing a two-phosphoproteome model of precursor ion interference, we assessed the accuracy of phosphopeptide quantitation across a variety of experimental approaches. These methods included the use of synchronous precursor selection (SPS) to enhance TMT reporter ion intensity and accuracy. We found that (i) ratio distortion remained a problem for phosphopeptide analysis in multiplexed quantitative workflows, (ii) ratio distortion can be overcome by the use of an SPS-MS3 scan, (iii) interfering ions generally possessed a different charge state than the target precursor, and (iv) selecting only the phosphate neutral loss peak (single notch) for the MS3 scan still provided accurate ratio measurements. Remarkably, these data suggest that the underlying cause of interference may not be due to coeluting and cofragmented peptides but instead from consistent, low level background fragmentation. Finally, as a proof-of-concept 10-plex experiment, we compared phosphopeptide levels from five murine brains to five livers. In total, the SPS-MS3 method quantified 38?247 phosphopeptides, corresponding to 11?000 phosphorylation sites. With 10 measurements recorded for each phosphopeptide, this equates to more than 628?000 binary comparisons collected in less than 48 h.
Project description:While developing a multiplexed phosphotyrosine peptide quantification assay, an unexpected observation was made: significant neutral loss from phosphotyrosine (pY) containing peptides. Using a 2000-member peptide library, we sought to systematically investigate this observation by comparing unlabeled peptides with the two highest-plex isobaric tags (iTRAQ8 and TMT10) across CID, HCD, and ETD fragmentation using high resolution high mass accuracy Orbitrap instrumentation. We found pY peptide neutral loss behavior was consistent with reduced proton mobility, and does not occur during ETD. The site of protonation at the peptide N-terminus changes from a primary to a tertiary amine as a result of TMT labeling which would increase the gas phase basicity and reduce proton mobility at this site. This change in fragmentation behavior has implications during instrument method development and interpretation of MS/MS spectra, and therefore ensuing follow-up studies. We show how sites not localized to tyrosine by search and site localization algorithms can be confidently reassigned to tyrosine using neutral loss and phosphotyrosine immonium ions. We believe these findings will be of general interest to those studying pY signal transduction using isobaric tags.