Applications of selected reaction monitoring (SRM)-mass spectrometry (MS) for quantitative measurement of signaling pathways

Yingxin Zhao, Allan R. Brasier

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Quantitative measurement of the major regulatory proteins in signaling networks poses several technical challenges, including low abundance, the presence of post-translational modifications (PTMs), and the lack of suitable affinity detection reagents. Using the innate immune response (IIR) as a model signaling pathway, we illustrate the approach of stable isotope dilution (SID)-selected reaction monitoring (SRM)-mass spectrometry (MS) assays for quantification of low abundance signaling proteins. A work flow for SID-SRM-MS assay development is established for proteins with experimentally observed MS spectra and for those without. Using the interferon response factor (IRF)-3 transcription factor as an example, we illustrate the steps in high responding signature peptide identification, SID-SRM-MS assay optimization, and evaluation. SRM assays for normalization of IIR abundance to invariant housekeeping proteins are presented. We provide an example of SID-SRM assay development for post-translational modification (PTM) detection using an activating phospho-Ser modified NF-κB/RelA transcription factor, and describe challenges inherent in PTM-SID-SRM-MS assay development. Application of highly qualified quantitative, SID-SRM-MS assays will enable a systems-level approach to understanding the dynamics and kinetics of signaling in host cells, such as the IIR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-322
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 15 2013


  • Innate immune response
  • Interferon response factor (IRF)
  • Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB)
  • Post-translational modification
  • Selected reaction monitoring
  • Stable isotope dilution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Applications of selected reaction monitoring (SRM)-mass spectrometry (MS) for quantitative measurement of signaling pathways'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this