Quantitative peptidomics of mouse pituitary: Comparison of different stable isotopic tags

Fa Yun Che, Lloyd D. Fricker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Determining the relative levels of neuropeptides in two samples is important for many biological studies. An efficient, sensitive and accurate technique for relative quantitative analysis involves tagging the peptides in the two samples with isotopically distinct labels, pooling the samples and analyzing them using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS). In this study, we compared two different sets of isotopic tags for analysis of endogenous mouse pituitary peptides: succinic anhydride with either four hydrogens or deuteriums and [3-(2,5-dioxopyrrolidin-l-yloxycarbonyl)propyl] trimethylammonium chloride with either nine hydrogens or deuteriums. These two labels react with amines and impart either a negative charge (succinyl) or a positive charge (4-trimethylammoniumbutyryl (TMAB)). Every endogenous mouse pituitary peptide labeled with the light TMAB reagent eluted from the Cu reversed-phase column at essentially the same time as the corresponding peptide labeled with the heavy reagent. Most of the peptides labeled with succinyl groups also showed co-elution of the heavy- and light-labeled forms on LC/MS. The mass difference between the heavy and light TMAB reagents (9 Da per label) was larger than that of the heavy and light succinyl labels (4 Da per label), and for some peptides the larger mass difference provided more accurate determination of the relative abundance of each form. Altogether, using both labels, 82 peptides were detected in Cpefat/fat mouse pituitary extracts. Of these, only 16 were detected with both labels, 41 were detected only with the TMAB label and 25 were detected only with the succinyl label. A number of these peptides were de novo sequenced using low-energy collisional tandem mass spectrometry. Whereas the succinyl group was stable to the collision-induced dissociation of the peptide, the TMAB-labeled peptides lost 59 Da per H9 TMAB group. Several peptides identified in this analysis represent previously undescribed post-translational processing products of known pituitary prohormones. In conclusion, both succinyl and TMAB isotopic labels are useful for quantitative peptidomics, and together these two labels provide more complete coverage of the endogenous peptides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-249
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Mass Spectrometry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Carboxypeptidase E
  • Chromogranin
  • Neuropeptide
  • Peptide processing
  • Proopiomelanocortin
  • Stable isotopic tags
  • Vasopressin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Spectroscopy


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