3-nitrotyrosine (3NT) is an oxidative posttranslational modification associated with many diseases. Determining the specific sites of this modification remains a challenge due to the low stoichiometry of 3NT modifications in biological samples. Mass spectrometry-based proteomics is a powerful tool for identifying 3NT modifications, however several reports identifying 3NT sites were later demonstrated to be incorrect, highlighting that both the accuracy and efficiency of these workflows need improvement. To advance our understanding of the chromatographic and spectral properties of 3NT-containing peptides we have adapted a straightforward, reproducible procedure to generate a large set of 3NT peptides by chemical nitration of a defined, commercially available 48 protein mixture. Using two complementary LC-MS/MS platforms, a QTOF (QSTAR Elite) and dual pressure ion trap mass spectrometer (LTQ Velos), we detected over 200 validated 3NT-containing peptides with significant overlap in the peptides detected by both systems. We investigated the LC-MS/MS properties for each peptide manually using defined criteria and then assessed their utility to confirm that the peptide was 3NT modified. This broad set of validated 3NT-containing peptides can be utilized to optimize mass spectrometric instrumentation and data mining strategies or further develop 3NT peptide enrichment strategies for this biologically important, oxidative posttranslational modification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2510-2521
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Proteomics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 19 2011


  • 3-nitrotyrosine
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Multiple reaction monitoring
  • Posttranslational modification
  • Spectral library


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