Integrating phosphoproteomics in systems biology.

August 1, 2014

Phosphorylation of serine, threonine and tyrosine plays significant roles in cellular signal transduction and in modifying multiple protein functions. Phosphoproteins are coordinated and regulated by a network of kinases, phosphatases and phospho-binding proteins, which modify the phosphorylation states, recognize unique phosphopeptides, or target proteins for degradation. Detailed and complete information on the structure and dynamics of these networks is required to better understand fundamental mechanisms of cellular processes and diseases. High-throughput technologies have been developed to investigate phosphoproteomes in model organisms and human diseases. Among them, mass spectrometry (MS)-based technologies are the major platforms and have been widely applied, which has led to explosive growth of phosphoproteomic data in recent years. New bioinformatics tools are needed to analyze and make sense of these data. Moreover, most research has focused on individual phosphoproteins and kinases. To gain a more complete knowledge of cellular processes, systems biology approaches, including pathways and networks modeling, have to be applied to integrate all components of the phosphorylation machinery, including kinases, phosphatases, their substrates, and phospho-binding proteins. This review presents the latest developments of bioinformatics methods and attempts to apply systems biology to analyze phosphoproteomics data generated by MS-based technologies. Challenges and future directions in this field will be also discussed.

Figure Summary of MS-based phosphoproteomics experiments.

Results from: Liu Y, Chance MR. Comput Struct Biotechnol J. 2014 Aug 1;10(17):90-7. doi: 10.1016/j.csbj.2014.07.003. eCollection 2014.