Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty Publications

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BMC Immunology





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BACKGROUND: Synthetic peptides have played a useful role in studies of protein kinase substrates and interaction domains. Synthetic peptide arrays and libraries, in particular, have accelerated the process. Several factors have hindered or limited the applicability of various techniques, such as the need for deconvolution of combinatorial libraries, the inability or impracticality of achieving full automation using two-dimensional or pin solid phases, the lack of convenient interfacing with standard analytical platforms, or the difficulty of compartmentalization of a planar surface when contact between assay components needs to be avoided. This paper describes a process for synthesis of peptides and phosphopeptides on microtiter plate wells that overcomes previous limitations and demonstrates utility in determination of the epitope of an autophosphorylation site phospho-motif antibody and utility in substrate utilization assays of the protein tyrosine kinase, p60c-src.

RESULTS: The overall reproducibility of phospho-peptide synthesis and multiplexed EGF receptor (EGFR) autophosphorylation site (pY1173) antibody ELISA (9H2) was within 5.5 to 8.0%. Mass spectrometric analyses of the released (phospho)peptides showed homogeneous peaks of the expected molecular weights. An overlapping peptide array of the complete EGFR cytoplasmic sequence revealed a high redundancy of 9H2 reactive sites. The eight reactive phospopeptides were structurally related and interestingly, the most conserved antibody reactive peptide motif coincided with a subset of other known EGFR autophosphorylation and SH2 binding motifs and an EGFR optimal substrate motif. Finally, peptides based on known substrate specificities of c-src and related enzymes were synthesized in microtiter plate array format and were phosphorylated by c-Src with the predicted specificities. The level of phosphorylation was proportional to c-Src concentration with sensitivities below 0.1 Units of enzyme.

CONCLUSIONS: The ability of this method to interface with various robotics and instrumentation is highly flexible since the microtiter plate is an industry standard. It is highly scalable by increasing the surface area within the well or the number of wells and does not require specialized robotics. The microtiter plate array system is well suited to the study of protein kinase substrates, antigens, binding molecules, and inhibitors since these all can be quantitatively studied at a single uniform, reproducible interface.


Antigen-antibody reactions, automation, mass spectrometry, peptide fragments, peptides, phosphoproteins, phosphotyrosine, polylysine, roto-oncogene proteins, robotics



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