Mass spectral characterization of organophosphate-labeled lysine in peptides

Hasmik Grigoryan, Bin Li, Weihua Xue, Marine Grigoryan, Lawrence M. Schopfer, Oksana Lockridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Organophosphate (OP) esters bind covalently to the active site serine of enzymes in the serine hydrolase family. Recently, mass spectrometry identified covalent binding of OPs to tyrosine in a wide variety of proteins when purified proteins were incubated with OPs. In the current work, manual inspection of tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) data led to the realization that lysines also make a covalent bond with OPs. OP-labeled lysine residues were found in seven proteins that had been treated with either chlorpyrifos oxon (CPO) or diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP): human serum albumin (K212, K414, K199, and K351), human keratin 1 (K211 and K355), human keratin 10 (K163), bovine tubulin alpha (K60, K336, K163, K394, and K401), bovine tubulin beta (K58), bovine actin (K113, K291, K326, K315, and K328), and mouse transferrin (K296 and K626). These results suggest that OP binding to lysine is a general phenomenon. Characteristic fragments specific for CPO-labeled lysine appeared at 237.1, 220.0, 192.0, 163.9, 128.9, and 83.9 amu. Characteristic fragments specific for DFP-labeled lysine appeared at 164.0, 181.2, and 83.8 amu. This new OP-binding motif to lysine suggests new directions to search for mechanisms of long-term effects of OP exposure and in the search for biomarkers of OP exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-100
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009


  • Actin
  • Chlorpyrifos oxon
  • Diisopropylfluorophosphate
  • Keratin
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Organophosphate esters
  • Serum albumin
  • Transferrin
  • Tubulin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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