Discovery of Missing Methylation Sites on Endogenous Peptides of Human Cell Lines

Yan, X., et al. Discovery of Missing Methylation Sites on Endogenous Peptides of Human Cell Lines, Journal of The American Society for Mass Spectrometry. 10.1007/s13361-019-02270-y

Methylation of proteins has considerable impacts on physiological processes including signal transduction, DNA damage repair, transcriptional regulation, gene activation, and inhibition of gene expression. However, the traditional proteomics-based approach suffers from limited identification rates of these critical methylation sites on endogenous peptides. In this work, a peptidomics-based workflow was established to discover and characterize the global methylome of endogenous peptides in human cells. The reliability of our strategy was validated by methyl-SILAC labeling, resulting in 83% true-positive identifications in the HeLa cell line. We applied this approach to seven human cell lines, and 700 methylated forms on 646 putative methylation sites were identified in total, with over 61% of the methylation sites being newly identified. This study provides a complementary strategy for a traditional proteomics-based approach that enables identification of missing methylation sites and creates a first methylome draft of endogenous peptides of human cell lines, offering a valuable resource for in-depth studies of biological functions of methylated endogenous peptides.

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