Neuropeptidomics refers to a global characterization approach for the investigation of neuropeptides, often under specific physiological conditions. Neuropeptides comprise a complex set of signaling molecules that are involved in regulatory functions and behavioral control in the nervous system. Neuropeptidomics is inherently challenging because neuropeptides are spatially, temporally, and chemically heterogeneous, making them difficult to predict in silico from genomic information. Mature neuropeptides are produced from intricate enzymatic processing of precursor proteins/prohormones via a range of posttranslational modifications, resulting in multiple final peptide products from each prohormone gene. Although there are several methods for targeted peptide studies, mass spectrometry (MS), with its qualitative and quantitative capabilities, is ideally suited to the task. MS provides fast, sensitive, accurate, and high-throughput peptidomic analysis of neuropeptides without requiring prior knowledge of the peptide sequences. Aided by liquid chromatography (LC) separations and bioinformatics, MS is quickly becoming a leading technique in neuropeptidomics. This chapter describes several LC-MS analytical methods to identify, characterize, and quantify neuropeptides while emphasizing the sample preparation steps so integral to experimental success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeuropeptides
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781617793097
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Liquid chromatography
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Peptide identification
  • Quantitation
  • Sample preparation
  • Stable isotope labeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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