, Volume 402, Issue 2, pp 625-645
Date: 16 Jul 2011

Functional proteomics: application of mass spectrometry to the study of enzymology in complex mixtures

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Abstract

This review covers recent developments in mass spectrometry-based applications dealing with functional proteomics with special emphasis on enzymology. The introduction of mass spectrometry into this research field has led to an enormous increase in knowledge in recent years. A major challenge is the identification of “biologically active substances” in complex mixtures. These biologically active substances are, on the one hand, potential regulators of enzymes. Elucidation of function and identity of those regulators may be accomplished by different strategies, which are discussed in this review. The most promising approach thereby seems to be the one-step procedure, because it enables identification of the functionality and identity of biologically active substances in parallel and thus avoids misinterpretation. On the other hand, besides the detection of regulators, the identification of endogenous substrates for known enzymes is an emerging research field, but in this case studies are quite rare. Moreover, the term biologically active substances may also encompass proteins with diverse biological functions. Elucidation of the functionality of those—so far unknown—proteins in complex mixtures is another branch of functional proteomics and those investigations will also be discussed in this review.

Figure

Mass spectrometric monitoring of enzymatic reactions