Background: Post-translational modification (PTM) crosstalk is a young research field. However, there is now evidence of the extraordinary characterization of the different proteoforms and their interactions in a biological environment that PTM crosstalk studies can describe. Besides gene expression and phosphorylation profiling of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) samples, the functional combination of several PTMs that might contribute to a better understanding of the complexity of the AML proteome remains to be discovered.
Objective: By reviewing current workflows for the simultaneous enrichment of several PTMs and bioinformatics tools to analyze mass spectrometry (MS)-based data, our major objective is to introduce the PTM crosstalk field to the AML research community.
Results: After introduction to PTMs and to PTM crosstalk, this review introduces several protocols for the simultaneous enrichment of PTMs. Two of them allow a simultaneous enrichment of at least three PTMs when using 0.5-2 mg of cell lysate. We have reviewed many of the bioinformatics tools used for PTM crosstalk discovery as its complex data analysis, mainly generated from MS, becomes challenging for most AML researchers. We have presented several non-AML PTM crosstalk studies throughout the review in order to show how important the characterization of PTM crosstalk becomes for the selection of disease biomarkers and therapeutic targets.
Conclusion: Herein, we have reviewed the advances and pitfalls of the emerging PTM crosstalk field and its potential contribution to unravel the heterogeneity of AML. The complexity of sample preparation and bioinformatics workflows demands a good interaction between experts of several areas.