Posttranslational carbonylation of proteins by the covalent attachment of the lipid peroxidation product 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE) is a biomarker of oxidative stress. Tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) has become an essential tool for characterization of this modification. Chemical tagging methods have been used to facilitate the immunoaffinity-based enrichment or even quantification of HNE-modified peptides and proteins. With MS/MS spectra of the untagged modified peptides considered as references, a comparative evaluation is presented focusing on the impact of affinity-tagging with four carbonyl-specific reagents (2,4-dinitrophenyl hydrazine, biotin hydrazide, biotinamidohexanoic acid hydrazide and N'-aminooxymethylcarbonyl-hydrazino D-biotin) on collision-induced dissociation of the tagged HNE-carbonylated peptides. Our study has shown that chemical labeling may not be carried out successfully for all the peptides and with all the reagents. The attachment of a tag usually cannot circumvent the occurrence of strong neutral losses observed with untagged species and, in addition, fragmentation of the introduced tag may also happen. Chemical tagging of certain peptides may, nevertheless, afford more sequence ions upon MS/MS than the untagged carbonylated peptide, especially when Michael addition of the lipid peroxidation product occurs on cysteine residues. Therefore, tagging may increase the confidence of identifications of HNE-modified peptides by database searches.
- Collision-induced dissociation
- Protein carbonylation
- Redox proteomics
- Tandem mass spectrometry