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Mass Spectrometry-Based Methodologies for Targeted and Untargeted Identification of Protein Covalent Adducts (Adductomics): Current Status and Challenges

Centro de Química Estrutural, Instituto Superior Técnico, ULisboa, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
Clarify Analytical, Rua dos Mercadores 128A, 7000-872 Évora, Portugal
CEDOC, Chronic Diseases Research Centre, NOVA Medical School, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 1169-006 Lisboa, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
High-Throughput 2019, 8(2), 9;
Received: 30 March 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 20 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adductomics: Elucidating the Environmental Causes of Disease)
PDF [872 KB, uploaded 16 May 2019]


Protein covalent adducts formed upon exposure to reactive (mainly electrophilic) chemicals may lead to the development of a wide range of deleterious health outcomes. Therefore, the identification of protein covalent adducts constitutes a huge opportunity for a better understanding of events underlying diseases and for the development of biomarkers which may constitute effective tools for disease diagnosis/prognosis, for the application of personalized medicine approaches and for accurately assessing human exposure to chemical toxicants. The currently available mass spectrometry (MS)-based methodologies, are clearly the most suitable for the analysis of protein covalent modifications, providing accuracy, sensitivity, unbiased identification of the modified residue and conjugates along with quantitative information. However, despite the huge technological advances in MS instrumentation and bioinformatics tools, the identification of low abundant protein covalent adducts is still challenging. This review is aimed at summarizing the MS-based methodologies currently used for the identification of protein covalent adducts and the strategies developed to overcome the analytical challenges, involving not only sample pre-treatment procedures but also distinct MS and data analysis approaches. View Full-Text
Keywords: protein covalent adducts; adductomics; mass spectrometry protein covalent adducts; adductomics; mass spectrometry

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Nunes, J.; Charneira, C.; Morello, J.; Rodrigues, J.; Pereira, S.A.; Antunes, A.M.M. Mass Spectrometry-Based Methodologies for Targeted and Untargeted Identification of Protein Covalent Adducts (Adductomics): Current Status and Challenges. High-Throughput 2019, 8, 9.

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