Protein biomarkers are critical for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of disease. The transition from protein biomarker discovery to verification can be a rate limiting step in clinical development of new diagnostics. Liquid chromatography-selected reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (LC-SRM MS) is becoming an important tool for biomarker verification studies in highly complex biological samples. Analyte enrichment or sample fractionation is often necessary to reduce sample complexity and improve sensitivity of SRM for quantitation of clinically relevant biomarker candidates present at the low ng/mL range in blood. In this paper, we describe an alternative method for sample preparation for LC-SRM MS, which does not rely on availability of antibodies. This new platform is based on selective enrichment of proteotypic peptides from complex biological peptide mixtures via isoelectric focusing (IEF) on a digital ProteomeChip (dPC™) for SRM quantitation using a triple quadrupole (QQQ) instrument with an LC-Chip (Chip/Chip/SRM). To demonstrate the value of this approach, the optimization of the Chip/Chip/SRM platform was performed using prostate specific antigen (PSA) added to female plasma as a model system. The combination of immunodepletion of albumin and IgG with peptide fractionation on the dPC, followed by SRM analysis, resulted in a limit of quantitation of PSA added to female plasma at the level of ~1–2.5 ng/mL with a CV of ~13%. The optimized platform was applied to measure levels of PSA in plasma of a small cohort of male patients with prostate cancer (PCa) and healthy matched controls with concentrations ranging from 1.5 to 25 ng/mL. A good correlation (r2 = 0.9459) was observed between standard clinical ELISA tests and the SRM-based-assay. Our data demonstrate that the combination of IEF on the dPC and SRM (Chip/Chip/SRM) can be successfully applied for verification of low abundance protein biomarkers in complex samples.
Isoelectric focusing; IEF; digital ProteomeChip; dPC; selected reaction monitoring; SRM; prostate specific antigen; PSA; QQQ; LC-Chip
Capillary electrophoresis with laser induced fluorescence detection (CE-LIF) was employed for rapid sialic acid speciation, facilitating the quantitative determination of N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) and N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) on glycoproteins. Derivatization of the sialic acids with 2-aminoacridone (2-AMAC), using classical reductive amination in a non-aqueous solvent, led to the spontaneous decarboxylation of the sialic acid residues as determined by CE-LIF and offline mass spectrometric analysis. Modification of both the labeling conditions to drive the decarboxylation reaction to completion and the CE-LIF parameters to separate the neutral species by complexation with a neutral coated capillary and borate reversed polarity, led to a robust platform for the rapid, sensitive and quantitative speciation of sialic acids. The method can readily be used for quality control of recombinant biopharmaceuticals.
Sialic acid; N-acetylneuraminic acid; N-glycolylneuraminic acid; capillary electrophoresis; monosaccharide; 2-aminoacridone; decarboxylation
With the recent growth of the global monoclonal antibody market, ultrasensitive techniques are required for rapid analysis of possible immunogenic residues, such as galactose-α-1,3-galactose (α-1,3-Gal) on therapeutic proteins expressed in murine or CHO cell lines. We report a capillary electrophoretic approach in conjunction with exoglycosidase digestion for structural elucidation of N-linked IgG glycans containing the above immunogenic epitope. The method uses commercially available reagents and instrumentation, thus making the described methodology readily available for implementation and validation within the biotechnology industry. The method was first evaluated using polyclonal mouse IgG N-glycans which are known to contain α-1,3-Gal containing epitopes. High reproducibility in migration time enabled determination of GU values for five α-1,3-Gal containing structures. The method was successfully applied to the analysis of a NCI reference standard monoclonal antibody and two development phase monoclonal antibodies. The limit of detection and limit of quantitation were 1 and 2 µg of intact protein IgG starting material, respectively, further indicating the high sensitivity of the described method.
therapeutic antibody; monoclonal antibody; alpha galactose; immunogenic epitopes; capillary electrophoresis; exoglycosidase digestion; glycomics
Precise proteomic profiling of limited levels of disease tissue represents an extremely challenging task. Here, we present an effective and reproducible microproteomic workflow for sample sizes of only 10,000 cells that integrates selective sample procurement via laser capture microdissection (LCM), sample clean up and protein level fractionation using short-range SDS-PAGE, followed by ultrasensitive LC-MS/MS analysis using a 10 μm i.d. porous layer open tubular (PLOT) column. With 10,000 LCM captured mouse hepatocytes for method development and performance assessment, only 10% of the in-gel digest, equivalent to ~1000 cells, was needed per LC-MS/MS analysis. The optimized workflow was applied to the differential proteomic analysis of 10,000 LCM collected primary and metastatic breast cancer cells from the same patient. More than 1100 proteins were identified from each injection with >1700 proteins identified from three LCM samples of 10,000 cells from the same patient (1123 with at least two unique peptides). Label free quantitation (spectral counting) was performed to identify differential protein expression between the primary and metastatic cell populations. Informatics analysis of the resulting data indicated that vesicular transport and extracellular remodeling processes were significantly altered between the two cell types. The ability to extract meaningful biological information from limited, but highly informative cell populations demonstrates the significant benefits of the described microproteomic workflow.
microproteomics; porous layer open tubular column; laser capture microdissection; breast cancer; sample preparation; low cell numbers
FOXP3 is a key transcription factor for regulatory T cell function. We report the crystal structure of the FOXP3 coiled coil domain, through which a loose or transient dimeric association is formed and modulated, accounting for the activity variations introduced by disease-causing mutations or posttranslational modifications. Structure-guided mutagenesis revealed that FOXP3 coiled coil mediated homo-dimerization is essential for Treg function in vitro and in vivo. In particular, we identified human FOXP3 K250 and K252 as key residues for the conformational change and stability of the FOXP3 dimer, which can be regulated by protein posttranslational modifications such as reversible lysine acetylation. These studies provide structural and mechanistic explanations for certain disease-causing mutations in the coiled coil domain of FOXP3 that are commonly found in IPEX syndrome. Overall the regulatory machinery involving homo-oligomerization, acetylation, and hetero-association has been dissected, defining atomic insights into the biological and pathological characteristics of the FOXP3 complex.
FOXP3; IPEX Syndrome; Dimerization; Acetylation; Complex Assembly
Characterization of the N-glycosylation present in the Fc region of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies requires rapid, high resolution separation methods to guarantee product safety and efficacy during all stages of process development. Determination of fucosylated oligosaccharides is particularly important during clone selection, product characterization and lot release as fucose has been shown to adversely affect the ability of mAbs to induce antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). Here, we apply a general capillary electrophoresis optimization strategy to separate functionally relevant fucosylated and afucosylated glycans on mononclonal antibody products in the presence of several high mannose oligosaccharides. The N-glycans chosen represent those most commonly reported on CHO cell derived therapeutic antibodies. A rapid (<7 min) high resolution separation of twelve commonly reported and functionally important IgG glycans was developed by systematically evaluating the effects of selectivity (boric acid) and efficiency (linear polyacrylamide) enhancing additives. The approach can be used to rapidly optimize capillary electrophoresis separation of other glycan mixtures. Following optimization, the method was applied to overnight sample processing for automated 96 well plate-based glycosylation analyses of two non-proprietary therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, demonstrating ruggedness and suitability for high-throughput process and product monitoring applications.
Post translational modifications, in particular glycosylation, represent critical structural attributes that govern both the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties of therapeutic glycoproteins. To guarantee safety and efficacy of recombinant therapeutics, characterization of glycosylation present is a regulatory requirement. In the current paper, we applied a multidimensional strategy comprising a shallow anion exchange gradient in the first dimension, followed by analysis using the recently introduced 1.7 μm HILIC phase in the second dimension for the comprehensive separation of complex N-glycans present on the European Biological Reference Preparation (BRP) 3 erythropoietin standard. Tetra-antennary glycans with multiple sialic acids and poly-N-acetyl lactosamine extensions were the most abundant oligosaccharides present on the molecule. Site-specific glycan analysis was performed to examine microheterogeneity. Tetra-antennary glycans with up to four sialic acids and up to five poly-N-acetyl lactosamine extensions were observed at asparagine 24 and 83, while bi-antennary glycans were the major structures at asparagine 38. The combined AEC × UPLC HILIC allows for the rapid and comprehensive analysis of complex N-glycosylation present on therapeutic glycoproteins such as BRP3 erythropoietin.
Erythropoietin; biopharmaceutical; oligosaccharides; glycan analysis; glycomics; proteomics; site specific glycosylation; ultra performance liquid chromatography; hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography
The disulfides in three monoclonal antibodies (mAb), the anti-HER2, anti-CD11a, and GLP-1 with IgG4-Fc fusion protein, were completely mapped by LC-MS with the combination of ETD and CID fragmentation. In addition to mapping the 4 inter- and 12 intra-chain disulfides (total 16), the identification of scrambled disulfides in degraded samples (heat-stress) was achieved. The scrambling was likely attributed to an initial breakage between the light (Cys 214) and heavy (Cys 223) chains in anti-HER2, with the same observation found in a similar therapeutic mAb, anti-CD11a. On the other hand, the fusion antibody, with no light chain but containing only 2 heavy chains, generated much less scrambling under the same heat-stressed conditions. The preferred sites of scrambling were identified, such as the intra-chain disulfide for CxxC in the heavy chain, and the C194 of the heavy chain pairing with the terminal Cys residue (C214) in the light chain. The inter-chain disulfides between the light and heavy chains were weaker than the inter-chain disulfides between the two heavy chains. The relative high abundance ions observed in ETD provided strong evidence for the linked peptide information, which was particularly useful for the identification of the scrambled disulfides. The use of SDS-PAGE helped the separation of these misfolded proteins for the determination of scrambled disulfide linkages. This methodology is useful for comparison of disulfide stability generated from different structural designs, and providing a new way to determine the scrambling patterns, which could be applied for those seeking to determine unknown disulfide linkages.
Site-specific analysis of protein glycosylation is important for biochemical and clinical research efforts. Glycopeptide analysis using liquid chromatography - collision induced dissociation/electron transfer dissociation - mass spectrometry (LC-CID/ETD-MS) allows simultaneous characterization of glycan structure and attached peptide site. However, due to the low ionization efficiency of glycopeptides during electrospray ionization (ESI), 200–500 fmol of sample per injection is needed for a single LC-MS run, which makes it challenging for the analysis of limited amounts of glycoprotein purified from biological matrices. To improve the sensitivity of LC-MS analysis for glycopeptides, an ultra-narrow porous layer open tubular (PLOT) LC column (2.5 m × 10 μm i.d.) was coupled to a linear ion trap mass spectrometer (LTQ-CID/ETD-MS) to provide sensitive analysis of N-linked protein glycosylation heterogeneity. The potential of the developed method is demonstrated by the characterization of site-specific glycosylation using haptoglobin (Hpt) as a model protein. To limit the amount of haptoglobin to low pmole amounts of protein, we affinity purified it from 1 μL of pooled lung cancer patients plasma. A total of 26 glycoforms/glycan compositions on three Hpt tryptic glycopeptides were identified and quantified from 10 LC-MS runs with a consumption of 100 fmol Hpt digest (13 ng protein, 10 fmol per injection). Included in this analysis was the determination of the glycan occupancy level. At this sample consumption level, the high sensitivity of the PLOT LC-LTQ-CID/ETD-MS allowed glycopeptide identification and structure determination, along with relative quantitation of glycans presented on the same peptide backbone, even for low abundant glycopeptides at the ~100 attomole level. The PLOT LC-MS is shown to have sufficient sensitivity to allow characterization of site-specific protein glycosylation from trace levels of glycosylated proteins.
A challenge in the treatment of lung cancer is the lack of early diagnostics. Here, we describe the application of monoclonal antibody proteomics for discovery of a panel of biomarkers for early detection (stage I) of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We produced large monoclonal antibody libraries directed against the natural form of protein antigens present in the plasma of NSCLC patients. Plasma biomarkers associated with the presence of lung cancer were detected via high throughput ELISA. Differential profiling of plasma proteomes of four clinical cohorts, totaling 301 patients with lung cancer and 235 healthy controls, identified 13 lung cancer-associated (p < 0.05) monoclonal antibodies. The monoclonal antibodies recognize five different cognate proteins identified using immunoprecipitation followed by mass spectrometry. Four of the five antigens were present in non-small cell lung cancer cells in situ. The approach is capable of generating independent antibodies against different epitopes of the same proteins, allowing fast translation to multiplexed sandwich assays. Based on these results, we have verified in two independent clinical collections a panel of five biomarkers for classifying patient disease status with a diagnostics performance of 77% sensitivity and 87% specificity. Combining CYFRA, an established cancer marker, with the panel resulted in a performance of 83% sensitivity at 95% specificity for stage I NSCLC.
A ubiquitous yet underappreciated protein post-translational modification, isoaspartic acid (isoAsp, isoD or β-Asp), generated via the deamidation of asparagine or isomerization of aspartic acid in proteins, plays a diverse and crucial role in ageing, as well as autoimmune, cancer, neurodegeneration and other diseases. In addition, formation of isoAsp is a major concern in protein pharmaceuticals, as it may lead to aggregation or activity loss. The scope and significance of isoAsp have, up to now, not been fully explored, as an unbiased screening of isoAsp at low abundance remains challenging. This difficulty is due to the subtle difference in the physicochemical properties between isoAsp and Asp, e.g., identical mass. In contrast, endoprotease Asp-N (EC 220.127.116.11) selectively cleaves aspartyl peptides but not the isoaspartyl counterparts. As a consequence, isoaspartyl peptides can be differentiated from those containing Asp and also enriched by Asp-N digestion. Subsequently, the existence and site of isoaspartate can be confirmed by electron transfer dissociation (ETD) mass spectrometry. As little as 0.5 % of isoAsp was detected in synthetic beta amyloid and cytochrome c peptides, even though both were initially assumed to be free of isoAsp. Taken together, our approach should expedite the unbiased discovery of isoAsp.
Recombinant tissue plasminogen (rt-PA) with 35 cysteine residues has been completely assigned by mapping the 17 disulfide linkages and the unpaired cysteine. The result is consistent with the prediction from homology except for the unassigned cysteine, which was identified at Cys83. This cysteine was found to be blocked and paired with either a glutathione or cysteine residue in a ~ 60 :40 ratio, respectively. The analysis was conducted using a multi-fragmentation approach consisting of ETD and CID, in combination with a multi-enzyme digestion strategy (Lys-C, trypsin, and Glu-C). The disulfide-linked peptides, even those containing N or O-linked glycosylation, could be assigned since the disulfide bonds were still preferably cleaved over the glycosidic cleavages under ETD fragmentation. The use of a multiple and sequential enzymatic digestion strategy was important in producing fragment sizes suitable for analysis. For the analysis of complex intertwined disulfides, the use of CID MS3 to target partially disulfide dissociated peptides from the ETD fragmentation was necessary for linkage assignment. The ability to identify the exact location and status of the unpaired cysteine (free or blocked with a glutathione or cysteine) could shed light on the activation of rt-PA, upon stimulation by either oxidative or ischemic stress.
TNK-tPA products from the innovator and follow-on manufacturers were characterized and compared. All tryptic peptides including N-terminal, C-terminal and mutated peptides as well as the disulfide linked peptides were identified, with the demonstration of the same primary sequence and disulfide linkages between the innovator and follow-on products. The three N-linked and one O-linked fucose glycosylation sites were identified. The two N-linked (N103 and N448) and one O-linked fucose (T61) sites were fully glycosylated in both innovator and follow-on products. The other N-linked site (N184) was partially glycosylated and exhibited a ~2.5 fold difference between the innovator (60% occupancy) and follow-on (25% occupancy) products. Since the glycosylation occupancy at this site is known to affect biological activity in the clot lysis assay, this observed difference could cause a concern as to their bioequivalence. The cleavage site for the conversion of the zymogen form to active enzyme was also identified between R275 and I276, with a cleavage of 40% for the innovator and 10% for the follow-on products. Both the % glycosylation occupancy and the chain cleavage were determined by two independent approaches, starting from either the peptide or intact protein separation, with consistent results by both methods. Subtle differences of modifications such as deamidation and oxidation between innovator and biosimilar were shown at M207, M445, M490 and N58, N184. The observation of different extent of oxidation at M207 and deamidation at N184, which could influence the clot lysis activity, were also of potential concern in drug efficacy between the follow-on and innovator products.
Consistent asymmetry of the left-right (LR) axis is a crucial aspect of vertebrate embryogenesis. Asymmetric gene expression of the TGFβ superfamily member Nodal related 1 (Nr1) in the left lateral mesoderm plate is a highly conserved step regulating the situs of the heart and viscera. In Xenopus, movement of maternal serotonin (5HT) through gap-junctional paths at cleavage stages dictates asymmetry upstream of Nr1. However, the mechanisms linking earlier biophysical asymmetries with this transcriptional control point are not known.
To understand how an early physiological gradient is transduced into a late, stable pattern of Nr1 expression we investigated epigenetic regulation during LR patterning. Embryos injected with mRNA encoding a dominant-negative of Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) lacked Nr1 expression and exhibited randomized sidedness of the heart and viscera (heterotaxia) at stage 45. Timing analysis using pharmacological blockade of HDACs implicated cleavage stages as the active period. Inhibition during these early stages was correlated with an absence of Nr1 expression at stage 21, high levels of heterotaxia at stage 45, and the deposition of the epigenetic marker H3K4me2 on the Nr1 gene. To link the epigenetic machinery to the 5HT signaling pathway, we performed a high-throughput proteomic screen for novel cytoplasmic 5HT partners associated with the epigenetic machinery. The data identified the known HDAC partner protein Mad3 as a 5HT-binding regulator. While Mad3 overexpression led to an absence of Nr1 transcription and randomized the LR axis, a mutant form of Mad3 lacking 5HT binding sites was not able to induce heterotaxia, showing that Mad3's biological activity is dependent on 5HT binding.
HDAC activity is a new LR determinant controlling the epigenetic state of Nr1 from early developmental stages. The HDAC binding partner Mad3 may be a new serotonin-dependent regulator of asymmetry linking early physiological asymmetries to stable changes in gene expression during organogenesis.
Xenopus; left-right asymmetry; laterality; Nodal; HDAC
A mass spectrometric (MS)-based strategy for antigen (Ag) identification and characterization of globally produced monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) is described. Mice were immunized with a mixture of native glycoproteins, isolated from the pooled plasma of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), to generate a library of IgG-secreting hybridomas. Prior to immunization, the pooled NSCLC plasma was subjected to 3-sequential steps of affinity fractionation, including high abundant plasma protein depletion, glycoprotein enrichment and polyclonal antibody affinity chromatography normalization. In this paper, in order to demonstrate the high quality of the globally produced mAbs, we selected 3 mAbs of high differentiating power against a matched, pooled normal plasma sample. After production of large quantities of the mAbs from ascites fluids, Ag identification was achieved by immunoaffinity purification, SDS-PAGE, Western blotting and MS analysis of in-gel digest products. One antigen was found to be complement factor H, and the other two were mapped to different subunits of haptoglobin (Hpt). The 2 Hpt mAbs were characterized in detail in order to assess the quality of the mAbs produced by the global strategy. The affinity of one of the mAbs to the Hpt native tetramer form was found to have a KD of roughly 10−9 M and to be 2 orders of magnitude lower than the reduced form, demonstrating the power of the mAb proteomics technology in generating mAbs to the natural form of the proteins in blood. The binding of this mAb to the β-chain of haptoglobin was also dependent on glycosylation on this chain. The characterization of mAbs in this work reveals that the global mAb proteomics process can generate high-quality lung cancer specific mAbs capable of recognizing proteins in their native state.
monoclonal antibody; mAb proteomics; antibody characterization; glycoprotein; haptoglobin; conformational epitope; lung cancer
The standard, well-established sample preparation protocol to release N-linked glycans from glycoproteins for downstream analysis requires relatively long deglycosylation times (from several hours to overnight) and relatively high endoglycosidase concentration (1:250 – 1:500 enzyme:substrate molar ratio). In this paper, we significantly improve this standard protocol by the use of pressure cycling technology (PCT) to increase the speed and decrease the relative amount of PNGase F during the release of N-linked glycans from denatured glycoproteins. With the application of pressure cycling from atmospheric to as high as 30 kPsi, >95% release of the asparagine linked glycans from bovine ribonuclease B, human transferrin and polyclonal human immunoglobulin was rapidly achieved in a few minutes using as low as 1:2500 enzyme:substrate molar ratio. The deglycosylation rate was first examined by SDS-PAGE at the protein level. The released glycans were then quantitated by capillary electrophoresis with laser induced fluorescence detection (CE-LIF). This new sample preparation protocol readily supports large scale glycan analysis of biopharmaceuticals with rapid deglycosylation times.
Capillary electrophoresis (CE) is a high resolution separation technique broadly used in the biotechnology industry for carbohydrate analysis. The standard sample preparation protocol for CE analysis of glycans released from glycoproteins generally requires derivatization times of overnight at 37°C, using ≥100 fold excess of fluorophore reagent, 8-aminopyrene-1,3,6-trisulfonic-acid (APTS), if the sample is unknown, or it is a regulated biotherapeutic product, possibly containing terminal sialic acid(s). In this paper, we report on significant improvements for the standard CE sample preparation method of glycan analysis. By replacing the conventionally used acetic acid catalyst with citric acid, as low as 1 : 10 glycan to fluorophore molar ratio (vs the typical 1 : ≥100 ratio) maintained the >95% derivatization yield at 55°C with only 50 minutes reaction time. Terminal sialic acid loss was negligible at 55°C during the derivatization process, and thus the kinetics of labeling at 55°C was faster than the loss of sialic acid from the glycan. The reduced relative level of APTS simplified the removal of excess reagent, important in both CE-LIF (electrokinetic injection bias) and CE-MS (ion suppression). Coupling capillary electrophoresis to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry confirmed that the individual peaks separated by CE corresponded to single glycans and increased the confidence of structural assignment based on glucose unit values.
glycan analysis; fluorophore labeling; capillary electrophoresis
Elevated blood levels of homocysteine (Hcy), hyperhomocysteinemia or homocystinuria, have been associated with various diseases and conditions. Homocysteine thiolactone (Hcy TL) is a metabolite of Hcy and reacts with amine groups in proteins to form stable amides, homocystamides or N-homocysteinylated proteins. It has been proposed that protein N-homocysteinylation contributes to the cytotoxicity of elevated Hcy. Due to its heterogeneity and relatively low abundance, detection of this post-translational modification remains challenging. On the other hand, the gamma-aminothiol group in homocystamides imparts different chemical reactivities than the native proteins. Under mildly acidic conditions, gamma-aminothiols irreversibly and stoichiometrically react with aldehydes to form stable 1,3-thiazines, whereas the reversible Schiff base formation between aldehydes and amino groups in native proteins is markedly disfavored due to protonation of amines. As such, we have developed highly selective chemical methods to derivatize N-homocysteinylated proteins with various aldehyde tags, thereby facilitating the subsequent analyses. For instance, fluorescent or biotin tagging coupled with gel electrophoresis permits quantification and global profiling of complex biological samples, such as hemoglobin and plasma from rat, mouse and human; affinity enrichment with aldehyde resins drastically reduces sample complexity. In addition, different reactivities of lysine residues in hemoglobin towards Hcy TL were observed.
In this paper, we have examined two cysteine modifications resulting from sample preparation for protein characterization by MS: (1) a previously observed conversion of cysteine to dehydroalanine, now found in the case of disulfide mapping and (2) a novel modification corresponding to conversion of cysteine to alanine. Using model peptides, the conversion of cysteine to dehydroalanine via β-elimination of a disulfide bond was seen to result from the conditions of typical tryptic digestion (37 °C, pH 7.0– 9.0) without disulfide reduction and alkylation.. Furthermore, the surprising conversion of cysteine to alanine was shown to occur by heating cysteine containing peptides in the presence of a phosphine (TCEP). The formation of alanine from cysteine, investigated by performing experiments in H2O or D2O, suggested a radical-based desulfurization mechanism unrelated to β-elimination. Importantly, an understanding of the mechanism and conditions favorable for cysteine desulfurization provides insight for the establishment of improved sample preparation procedures of protein analysis.
Thiolutin is a dithiole synthesized by Streptomyces sp. that inhibits endothelial cell adhesion and tumor growth. We show here that thiolutin potently inhibits developmental angiogenesis in zebrafish and vascular outgrowth from tissue explants in 3D cultures. Thiolutin is a potent and selective inhibitor of endothelial cell adhesion accompanied by rapid induction of HSPB1 (Hsp27) phosphorylation. The inhibitory effects of thiolutin on endothelial cell adhesion are transient, potentially due to a compensatory increase in Hsp27 protein levels. Accordingly, heat shock induction of Hsp27 limits the anti-adhesive activity of thiolutin. Thiolutin treatment results in loss of actin stress fibers, increased cortical actin as cells retract, and decreased cellular F-actin. Mass spectrometric analysis of Hsp27 binding partners following immunoaffinity purification identified several regulatory components of the actin cytoskeleton that associate with Hsp27 in a thiolutin-sensitive manner including several components of the Arp2/3 complex. Among these, ArpC1a is a direct binding partner of Hsp27. Thiolutin treatment induces peripheral localization of phosphorylated Hsp27 and Arp2/3. Hsp27 also associates with the intermediate filament components vimentin and nestin. Thiolutin treatment specifically ablates Hsp27 interaction with nestin and collapses nestin filaments. These results provide new mechanistic insights into regulation of cell adhesion and cytoskeletal dynamics by Hsp27.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12192-009-0130-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Hsp27; Arp2/3; Intermediate filaments; Angiogenesis; Mass spectrometry
Modern proteomic research frequently relies upon separation of proteins in a polyacrylamide gel matrix followed by in-gel enzymatic digestion and extraction of peptides for subsequent analysis by mass spectrometry. In this work, we propose a novel semi-automated method of mechanical processing of gel bands by passing these bands through a specially designed centrifugal device termed a Gel Shredder prior to digestion and extraction of peptides. Such a device allows integrated washing, destaining and shredding of gel bands into uniform blocks of controlled size, approximately 150–300 μm, prior to the enzymatic digestion and extraction of peptides. Shredding into uniform blocks increases the surface area of the gel pieces and promotes improved gel rehydration, allowing the proteolytic enzymes and solvent with improved penetration of the gel lattice. We demonstrate that the new method substantially reduces the time spent on tedious manual handling of gel bands, while minimizing the risk of sample contamination. The performance of the Gel Shredder has been compared to a conventional in-gel digestion protocol using several standard proteins and a complex proteomic sample in terms of relative quantitation by either MALDI-TOF/TOF or nanoLC-ESI ion trap-FTICR mass spectrometry. It is shown that significant time savings and improved peptide recovery can be obtained for many proteins using the Gel Shredder as compared to the traditional in-gel digestion protocol.
gel electrophoresis; proteomics; protein in-gel digestion; mass spectrometry; peptide recovery; centrifugal devices
This study expands the capabilities for ultratrace proteomic analysis of our previous work by incorporating on-line sample desalting using a triphasic (reversed phase (RP)/SCX/micro-SPE) trapping column connected to a 3.2 m × 10 μm i.d. poly(styrene-divinylbenzene) (PS-DVB) porous layer open tubular (PLOT) column. To minimize extra sample handling steps, C18 RP packing was incorporated in the capillary tubing upstream of the SCX column for the on-line desalting. For the micro-SPE column, a 50 μm i.d. PS-DVB monolithic column was positioned downstream of the SCX column. High performance separation was achieved on the PLOT column at a mobile phase flow rate of 20 nL/min. The sensitivity and high resolution capability of the new multidimensional platform was evaluated using an in-gel tryptic digested sample of a cervical cancer (SiHa) cell line. For the injected amount of 1200 cells (~500 ng), over 2700 peptides covering greater than 850 unique proteins were identified from the triphasic SCX/PLOT/MS analysis of a single SDS gel section (>40 kDa). The 2D LC/MS platform demonstrated good separation performance, such that more than 85% of the identified peptides were detected from only one salt fraction. In a triplicate analysis of the above >40 kDa gel section, 4497 peptides and 1209 unique proteins were identified when applying stringent filtering criteria, with a false positive rate of 2.4%. When all three SDS-PAGE gel sections of the lysed SiHa cells were analyzed, 5047 peptides (false positive rate 1.8%) and 1857 unique proteins, including cancer related proteins such as MAP kinases, were identified.
PLOT column; monolithic column; proteomics; multiple dimensional separations; ultranarrow bore LC column
The sensitivity of glycan analysis using nano-liquid chromatography interfaced with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) increases with the decrease of the mobile phase flow rate, accompanied by reduced ion suppression. In this study, we describe the preparation and performance of high efficiency 10 μm i.d. amine-bonded poly(vinylbenzyl chloride-divinylbenzene) hydrophilic interaction (HILIC) porous layer open tubular (PLOT) columns operated at 20 nL/min for the separation and analysis of glycan mixtures. HILIC-PLOT columns with a uniform porous polymer layer were reproducibly prepared (~4% RSD in retention time from column to column) via in-situ polymerization, followed by one step modification with ethylenediamine. When coupled on-line with negative ESI-MS, low detection limits (0.3 fmol) for a 3-sialyl-tetrasaccharide were achieved using a 2.5 m × 10 μm i.d. HILIC-PLOT column. A dextran ladder standard was used to evaluate the performance of the column, and high efficiency separation was achieved with detection of the dextrans up to G22 from ~50 fmol amounts injected. As an example of the high sensitivity of the column, MS6 characterization of glycan structures was possible from the injection of 10 fmol of a neutral and sialylated glycan. As another example of high sensitivity LC-MS analysis of 3 ng of a PNGase F digest of ovalbumin allowed 28 N-linked glycans to be confidently identified from a single analysis. High quality MS/MS spectra for each ovalbumin glycan were acquired and manually interpreted for structure analysis. The HILIC PLOT column is a very promising approach for LC-MS analysis of glycans at the ultratrace level.
In the biotechnology industry, the generation of incorrectly folded recombinant proteins, either from an E.coli expression system or from an over-expressed CHO cell line (disulfide scrambling), is often a great concern as such incorrectly folded forms may not be completely removed in the final product. Thus, significant efforts have been devoted to map disulfide bonds to assure drug quality. Similar to ECD, disulfide bond cleavages are preferred over peptide backbone fragmentation in ETD. Thus, an on-line LC-MS strategy combining collision induced dissociation (CID-MS2), electron transfer dissociation (ETD-MS2), and CID of an isolated product ion derived from ETD (MS3) has been used to characterize disulfide-linked peptides. Disulfide-linked peptide ions were identified by CID and ETD fragmentation, and the disulfide-dissociated (or partially dissociated) peptide ions were characterized in the subsequent MS3 step. The on-line LC-MS approach is successfully demonstrated in the characterization of disulfide linkages of recombinant human growth hormone (Nutropin), a monoclonal antibody (Herceptin) and tissue plasminogen activator (Activase). The characterization of disulfide-dissociated or partially dissociated peptide ions in the MS3 step is important to assign the disulfide linkages, particularly, for intertwined disulfide bridges and the unexpected disulfide scrambling of tissue plasminogen activator. The disulfide-dissociated peptide ions are shown to be obtained either directly from the ETD fragmentation of the precursors (disulfide-linked peptide ions) or indirectly from the charge-reduced species in the ETD fragmentation of the precursors. The simultaneous observation of disulfide-linked and disulfide-dissociated peptide ions with high abundance provided not only facile interpretation with high confidence but also simplified the conventional approach for determination of disulfide linkages, which often requires two separate experiments (with and without chemical reduction). The on-line LC-MS with ETD methodology represents a powerful approach to aid in the characterization of the correct folding of therapeutic proteins.
Sequencing of human and other genomes has been at the center of interest in the biomedical field over the past several decades and is now leading toward an era of personalized medicine. During this time, DNA sequencing methods have evolved from the labor intensive slab gel electrophoresis, through automated multicapillary electrophoresis systems using fluorophore labeling with multispectral imaging, to the “next generation” technologies of cyclic array, hybridization based, nanopore and single molecule sequencing. Deciphering the genetic blueprint and follow-up confirmatory sequencing of Homo sapiens and other genomes was only possible by the advent of modern sequencing technologies that was a result of step by step advances with a contribution of academics, medical personnel and instrument companies. While next generation sequencing is moving ahead at break-neck speed, the multicapillary electrophoretic systems played an essential role in the sequencing of the Human Genome, the foundation of the field of genomics. In this prospective, we wish to overview the role of capillary electrophoresis in DNA sequencing based in part of several of our articles in this journal.