Biochemistry


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0 Q&A 502 Views Nov 5, 2022

Ubiquitination is a post-translational modification conserved across eukaryotic species. It contributes to a variety of regulatory pathways, including proteasomal degradation, DNA repair, and cellular differentiation. The ubiquitination of substrate proteins typically requires three ubiquitination enzymes: a ubiquitin-activating E1, a ubiquitin-conjugating E2, and an E3 ubiquitin ligase. Cooperation between E2s and E3s is required for substrate ubiquitination, but some ubiquitin-conjugating E2s are also able to catalyze by themselves the formation of free di-ubiquitin, independently or in cooperation with a ubiquitin E2 variant. Here, we describe a method for assessing (i) di-ubiquitin formation by an E1 together with an E2 and an E2 variant, and (ii) the cooperation of an E3 with an E1 and E2 (with or without the E2 variant). Reaction products are assessed using western blotting with one of two antibodies: the first detects all ubiquitin conjugates, while the second specifically recognizes K63-linked ubiquitin. This allows unambiguous identification of ubiquitinated species and assessment of whether K63 linkages are present. We have developed these methods for studying ubiquitination proteins of Leishmania mexicana, specifically the activities of the E2, UBC2, and the ubiquitin E2 variant UEV1, but we anticipate the assays to be applicable to other ubiquitination systems with UBC2/UEV1 orthologues.

0 Q&A 546 Views Oct 5, 2022

Here, we present the first quantitative method for the activity analysis of protealysin-like protease (PLP) inhibitors. This approach is based on a previously developed method for protealysin activity determination by hydrolysis of internally quenched fluorescent peptide substrate 2-aminobenzoyl-L-arginyl-L-seryl-L-valyl-L-isoleucyl-L-(ϵ-2,4-dinitrophenyl)lysine. In this protocol, we significantly reduced enzyme concentration and introduced some minor modifications to decrease variation between replicates. The protocol was validated using emfourin, a novel proteinaceous metalloprotease inhibitor. Data obtained demonstrates that the developed assay method is an affordable approach for characterizing and screening various PLP inhibitors.


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0 Q&A 960 Views Sep 20, 2022

The activity of numerous autophagy-related proteins depends on their phosphorylation status, which places importance on understanding the responsible kinases and phosphatases. Great progress has been made in identifying kinases regulating autophagy, but much less is known about the phosphatases counteracting their function. Genetic screens and modern proteomic approaches provide powerful tools to identify candidate phosphatases, but further experiments are required to assign direct roles for candidates. We have devised a novel protocol to test the role of purified phosphatases in dephosphorylating specific targets in situ. This approach has the potential to visualize context-specific differences in target dephosphorylation that are not easily detected by lysate-based approaches such as Western blots.


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0 Q&A 923 Views Sep 20, 2022

Disturbance of the dynamic balance between protein tyrosine phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, modulated by protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) and protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs), is known to be crucial for the development of many human diseases. The discovery of agents that restore this balance has been the subject of many drug research efforts, most of which have focused on tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), resulting in the development of more than 50 FDA-approved TKIs during the past two decades. More recently, accumulating evidence has suggested that members of the PTP superfamily are also promising drug targets, and efforts to discover tyrosine phosphatase inhibitors (TPIs) have increased dramatically. Here, we provide protocols for determining the potency of TPIs in vitro. We focus on the use of fluorescence-based substrates, which exhibit a dramatic increase in fluorescence emission when dephosphorylated by the PTP, and thus allow setting up highly sensitive and miniaturized phosphatase activity assays using 384-well or 1536-well microplates and a continuous (kinetic) assay format. The protocols cover PTP specific activity assays, Michaelis–Menten kinetics, dose-response inhibition assays, and dose-response data analysis for determining IC50 values. Potential pitfalls are also discussed. While advanced instrumentation is utilized for compound spotting and liquid dispensing, all the assays can be adapted to existing equipment in most laboratories. Assays are described for selected PTP drug targets, including SHP2 (PTPN11), PTP1B (PTPN1), STEP (PTPN5), and VHR (DUSP3). However, all protocols are applicable to members of the PTP enzyme family in general.


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0 Q&A 708 Views Sep 5, 2022

Human aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) isoforms are NAD(P)+-dependent enzymes catalyzing the oxidation of a wide spectrum of aldehydes to their corresponding carboxylic acids. ALDH families 1 and 3 are associated with stemness, chemoresistance, and tumor progression across multiple tumor types. ALDH2 is involved in ethanol metabolism, and its deficiency is associated with a wide range of diseases. This protocol includes a method for recombinant protein production and affinity purification under reducing conditions that apply to ALDH family 1 and 3 isoforms, to produce high yields of pure, catalytically active protein (10–30 mg/L of culture). It also includes their respective enzymatic activity assays, optimized and based on the fluorescence emission of NAD(P)H at 460 nm, using hexanal (for ALDH1A1, 1A2, 1A3, and 2) or p-nitrobenzaldehyde (for ALDH3A1) as a substrate. These assays offer higher sensitivity than common UV-visible spectrophotometry and avoid interference of compounds that mask NAD(P)H absorption at 340 nm. The protocol could be adapted to high-throughput screenings using a fluorescent microplate reader. Not a single protocol existed in the literature that comprehensively addressed the methodology entailed in the production, purification, and fluorometric activity assays of the five isoforms. This standardized protocol, allowing a side-by-side comparison between the various isoforms and studies, is filling the gap and supersedes previously partial and scattered methodological information, representing an important contribution to the field. Here, high amounts of pure, soluble, stable, and catalytically active protein are obtained, which are suitable for crystallization trials and for the identification and characterization of substrates and inhibitors with therapeutic potential in the diagnostic and treatment of cancer and other diseases.

0 Q&A 1236 Views Apr 5, 2022

In Arabidopsis, DICER-LIKE PROTEIN 3 (DCL3) cuts the substrate pre-siRNA into a product siRNA duplex, encompassing one 23-nt strand and one 24-nt strand. To monitor the separation of the siRNA duplex with only 1-nt difference, we developed this protocol to evaluate the in vitro dicing activity of DCL3. The method can be applied for measuring the lengths of single-stranded RNA separated through denaturing urea polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (urea PAGE), which are visualized by a label-free fluorescence SYBR Gold, and quantified in a multi-function imager. This label-free method is easy to conduct, has low cost, and lacks the hazard of the traditional radio-labeled method. This method can also be adapted to the other Dicers and small RNAs.

1 Q&A 1245 Views Apr 5, 2022

The precise regulation of the homeostasis of the cellular proteome is critical for the appropriate growth and development of plants. It also allows the plants to respond to various environmental stresses, by modulating their biochemical and physiological aspects in a timely manner. Ubiquitination of cellular proteins is one of the major protein degradation routes for maintaining cellular protein homeostasis, and ubiquitin E3 ligases, components of ubiquitin ligase complexes, play an important role in the selective degradation of target proteins via substrate-specific interactions. Thus, understanding the role of E3 ligases and their substrate regulation uncovers their specific cellular and physiological functions. Here, we provide protocols for auto- and substrate-ubiquitination analyses that utilize the combination of in vitro purified E3 ubiquitin ligase proteins and immunoprecipitation.

0 Q&A 1547 Views Mar 20, 2022

Different pathways for autotrophic CO2 fixation can be recognized by the presence of genes for their specific key enzymes. On this basis, (meta)genomic, (meta)transcriptomic, or (meta)proteomic analysis enables the identification of the role of an organism or a distinct pathway in primary production. However, the recently discovered variant of the reductive tricarboxylic acid (rTCA) cycle, the reverse oxidative tricarboxylic acid (roTCA) cycle, lacks unique enzymes, a feature that makes it cryptic for bioinformatics analysis. This pathway is a reversal of the widespread tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. The functioning of the roTCA cycle requires unusually high activity of citrate synthase, the enzyme responsible for citrate cleavage, as well as elevated CO2 partial pressures. Here, we present a detailed description of the protocol we used for the identification of the roTCA cycle in members of Desulfurellaceae. First, we describe the anaerobic cultivation of Desulfurellaceae at different CO2 concentrations with a method that can be adapted to the cultivation of other anaerobes. Then, we explain how to measure activities of enzymes responsible for citrate cleavage, malate dehydrogenase reaction, and the crucial carboxylation step of the cycle catalyzed by pyruvate synthase in cell extracts. In conclusion, we describe stable isotope experiments that allow tracking of the roTCA cycle in vivo, through the position-specific incorporation of carbon-13 into amino acids. The label is provided to the organism as 13CO2 or [1-13C]glutamate. The same key methodology can be used for the reliable evaluation of the functioning of the roTCA cycle in any organism under study. This pathway is likely to participate, completely unseen, in the metabolism of various microorganisms.


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0 Q&A 1109 Views Mar 20, 2022

Activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) is a chemoproteomics platform to assess the functional state of enzymes in complex biological systems. Over the two decades, ABPP has emerged from a gel-based to gel-free platform, for in-depth proteome analysis with enhanced resolution, sensitivity for target detection, and discovery of small molecule inhibitors. The gel-free format of ABPP coupled with advanced mass spectrometry is highly sensitive and provides more comprehensive knowledge for the targeted enzyme family than the gel-based method. ABPP strategy is applied across microbe, plant, and animal models. It can be performed both in vitro and in vivo studies, and there is no limitation on sample origin. Here, we report an ultrasensitive, gel-free format of ABPP called active site peptide profiling. This protocol describes the identification of authentic functional proteins, by tagging their active sites in a native biological system. It is high throughput in nature and helps enrich even low abundance functional proteins. Since protein identification is virtually based on a single peptide, the identified peptide should be a unique peptide to identify its parent protein. It can be performed in a facile manner and offers to consolidate identification of protein targets as well as the site of probe modification. We have validated this approach using a fluorophosphonate (FP) serine hydrolase probe in the native proteome of the cereal crop Oryza sativa.


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Serine hydrolase active site peptide profiling


0 Q&A 2103 Views Jan 5, 2022

Many of the current methods for enzyme purification and immobilization suffer from several drawbacks, such as requiring tedious multistep procedures or long preparation, and being environmentally unfriendly, due to the chemicals and conditions involved. Thus, a simple technique for direct purification and immobilization of target enzymes from cell lysates was proposed. The elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs)-SpyCatcher chimera could mediate the formation of silica carriers within seconds and the target enzymes were then covalently immobilized on silica carriers via SpyCatcher/SpyTag spontaneous reaction. These tailor-made carriers were easily prepared, with precisely controlled morphology and size, as well as none-consuming surface modification needed, which could specifically immobilize the SpyTag-fused target enzymes from the cell lysate without pre-purification.





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