Post-translational modifications (PTMs) have an important role in the regulation of protein function, localization and interaction with other molecules. PTMs apply a dynamic control of proteins both in physiological and pathological conditions. The study of disease-specific PTMs allows identifying potential biomarkers and developing effective drugs.
Enrichment techniques combined with high-resolution MS/MS analysis provide attractive results on PTMs characterization. Selected reaction monitoring/multiple reaction monitoring (SRM/MRM) is a powerful targeted assay for the quantitation and validation of PTMs in complex biological samples.
Areas covered. The most frequent PTMs are described in terms of biological role and analytical methods commonly used to detect them. The applications of SRM/MRM for the absolute quantitation of PTMs are reported and a specific section is focused on PTMs detection in proteins that are involved in cardiovascular system and heart diseases.
Expert commentary. Post-translational modifications characterization in relation to disease pathology is still in progress, but targeted proteomics by LC-MS/MS has significantly upgraded the knowledge in the last years. Advances in enrichment strategies and software tools will facilitate the interpretation of high PTMs complexity. Promising studies confirm the great potentiality of SRM/MRM to study PTMs in cardiovascular field and PTMomics could be very useful in a clinical perspective.