Chromatin is a highly dynamic, well-structured nucleoprotein complex of DNA and proteins that controls virtually all DNA transactions. Chromatin dynamicity is regulated at specific loci by the presence of various associated proteins, histones, post-translational modifications, histone variants, and DNA methylation. Until now the characterization of the proteomic component of chromatin domains has been held back by the challenge of enriching distinguishable, homogeneous regions for subsequent mass spectrometry analysis. Here we describe a modified protocol for chromatin immunoprecipitation combined with quantitative proteomics based on stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture to identify known and novel histone modifications, variants, and complexes that specifically associate with silent and active chromatin domains. Our chromatin proteomics strategy revealed unique functional interactions among various chromatin modifiers, suggesting new regulatory pathways, such as a heterochromatin-specific modulation of DNA damage response involving H2A.X and WICH, both enriched in silent domains. Chromatin proteomics expands the arsenal of tools for deciphering how all the distinct protein components act together to enforce a given region-specific chromatin status.
The introduction of electrospray ionization (ESI) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) for the mass spectrometric analysis of peptides and proteins had a dramatic impact on biological science. We now report that a wide variety of compounds, including peptides, proteins, and protein complexes, are transported directly from a solid-state small molecule matrix to gas-phase ions when placed into the vacuum of a mass spectrometer without the use of high voltage, a laser, or added heat. This ionization process produces ions having charge states similar to ESI, making the method applicable for high performance mass spectrometers designed for atmospheric pressure ionization. We demonstrate highly sensitive ionization using intermediate pressure MALDI and modified ESI sources. This matrix and vacuum assisted soft ionization method is suitable for the direct surface analysis of biological materials, including tissue, via mass spectrometry.
Protein degradation provides an important regulatory mechanism used to control cell cycle progression and many other cellular pathways. To comprehensively analyze the spatial control of protein degradation in U2OS osteosarcoma cells, we have combined drug treatment and SILAC-based quantitative mass spectrometry with subcellular and protein fractionation. The resulting data set analyzed more than 74,000 peptides, corresponding to ∼5000 proteins, from nuclear, cytosolic, membrane, and cytoskeletal compartments. These data identified rapidly degraded proteasome targets, such as PRR11 and highlighted a feedback mechanism resulting in translation inhibition, induced by blocking the proteasome. We show this is mediated by activation of the unfolded protein response. We observed compartment-specific differences in protein degradation, including proteins that would not have been characterized as rapidly degraded through analysis of whole cell lysates. Bioinformatic analysis of the entire data set is presented in the Encyclopedia of Proteome Dynamics, a web-based resource, with proteins annotated for stability and subcellular distribution.
Malaria parasites actively remodel the infected red blood cell (irbc) by exporting proteins into the host cell cytoplasm. The human parasite Plasmodium falciparum exports particularly large numbers of proteins, including proteins that establish a vesicular network allowing the trafficking of proteins onto the surface of irbcs that are responsible for tissue sequestration. Like P. falciparum, the rodent parasite P. berghei ANKA sequesters via irbc interactions with the host receptor CD36. We have applied proteomic, genomic, and reverse-genetic approaches to identify P. berghei proteins potentially involved in the transport of proteins to the irbc surface. A comparative proteomics analysis of P. berghei non-sequestering and sequestering parasites was used to determine changes in the irbc membrane associated with sequestration. Subsequent tagging experiments identified 13 proteins (Plasmodium export element (PEXEL)-positive as well as PEXEL-negative) that are exported into the irbc cytoplasm and have distinct localization patterns: a dispersed and/or patchy distribution, a punctate vesicle-like pattern in the cytoplasm, or a distinct location at the irbc membrane. Members of the PEXEL-negative BIR and PEXEL-positive Pb-fam-3 show a dispersed localization in the irbc cytoplasm, but not at the irbc surface. Two of the identified exported proteins are transported to the irbc membrane and were named erythrocyte membrane associated proteins. EMAP1 is a member of the PEXEL-negative Pb-fam-1 family, and EMAP2 is a PEXEL-positive protein encoded by a single copy gene; neither protein plays a direct role in sequestration. Our observations clearly indicate that P. berghei traffics a diverse range of proteins to different cellular locations via mechanisms that are analogous to those employed by P. falciparum. This information can be exploited to generate transgenic humanized rodent P. berghei parasites expressing chimeric P. berghei/P. falciparum proteins on the surface of rodent irbc, thereby opening new avenues for in vivo screening adjunct therapies that block sequestration.
Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MPK) cascades are important for eukaryotic signal transduction. They convert extracellular stimuli (e.g. some hormones, growth factors, cytokines, microbe- or damage-associated molecular patterns) into intracellular responses while at the same time amplifying the transmitting signal. By doing so, they ensure proper performance, and eventually survival, of a given organism, for example in times of stress. MPK cascades function via reversible phosphorylation of cascade components MEKKs, MEKs, and MPKs. In plants the identity of most MPK substrates remained elusive until now. Here, we provide a robust and powerful approach to identify and quantify, with high selectivity, site-specific phosphorylation of MPK substrate candidates in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Our approach represents a two-step chromatography combining phosphoprotein enrichment using Al(OH)3-based metal oxide affinity chromatography, tryptic digest of enriched phosphoproteins, and TiO2-based metal oxide affinity chromatography to enrich phosphopeptides from complex protein samples. When applied to transgenic conditional gain-of-function Arabidopsis plants supporting in planta activation of MPKs, the approach allows direct measurement and quantification ex vivo of site-specific phosphorylation of several reported and many yet unknown putative MPK substrates in just a single experiment.
Cells secrete a large number of proteins to communicate with their surroundings. Furthermore, plasma membrane proteins and intracellular proteins can be released into the extracellular space by regulated or non-regulated processes. Here, we profiled the supernatant of 11 cell lines that are representative of different stages of breast cancer development by specifically capturing N-glycosylated peptides using the N-glyco FASP technology. For accurate quantification we developed a super-SILAC mix from several labeled breast cancer cell lines and used it as an internal standard for all samples. In total, 1398 unique N-glycosylation sites were identified and quantified. Enriching for N-glycosylated peptides focused the analysis on classically secreted and membrane proteins. N-glycosylated secretome profiles correctly clustered the different cell lines to their respective cancer stage, suggesting that biologically relevant differences were detected. Five different profiles of glycoprotein dynamics during cancer development were detected, and they contained several proteins with known roles in breast cancer. We then used the super-SILAC mix in plasma, which led to the quantification of a large number of the previously identified N-glycopeptides in this important body fluid. The combination of quantifying the secretome of cancer cell lines and of human plasma with a super-SILAC approach appears to be a promising new approach for finding markers of disease.
Trypanosoma brucei developed a sophisticated life cycle to adapt to different host environments. Although developmental differentiation of T. brucei has been the topic of intensive research for decades, the mechanisms responsible for adaptation to different host environments are not well understood. We developed stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture in trypanosomes to compare the proteomes of two different life cycle stages. Quantitative comparison of 4364 protein groups identified many proteins previously not known to be stage-specifically expressed. The identification of stage-specific proteins helps to understand how parasites adapt to different hosts and provides new insights into differences in metabolism, gene regulation, and cell architecture. A DEAD-box RNA helicase, which is highly up-regulated in the bloodstream form of this parasite and which is essential for viability and proper cell cycle progression in this stage is described as an example.
Malaria morbidity and mortality caused by both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax extend well beyond the African continent, and although P. vivax causes between 80 and 300 million severe cases each year, vivax transmission remains poorly understood. Plasmodium parasites are transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes, and the critical site of interaction between parasite and host is at the mosquito's luminal midgut brush border. Although the genome of the “model” African P. falciparum vector, Anopheles gambiae, has been sequenced, evolutionary divergence limits its utility as a reference across anophelines, especially non-sequenced P. vivax vectors such as Anopheles albimanus. Clearly, technologies and platforms that bridge this substantial scientific gap are required in order to provide public health scientists with key transcriptomic and proteomic information that could spur the development of novel interventions to combat this disease. To our knowledge, no approaches have been published that address this issue. To bolster our understanding of P. vivax–An. albimanus midgut interactions, we developed an integrated bioinformatic-hybrid RNA-Seq-LC-MS/MS approach involving An. albimanus transcriptome (15,764 contigs) and luminal midgut subproteome (9,445 proteins) assembly, which, when used with our custom Diptera protein database (685,078 sequences), facilitated a comparative proteomic analysis of the midgut brush borders of two important malaria vectors, An. gambiae and An. albimanus.
Multiplexed bead-based flow cytometric immunoassays are a powerful experimental tool for investigating cellular communication networks, yet their widespread adoption is limited in part by challenges in robust quantitative analysis of the measurements. Here we report our application of mixed-effects modeling for the normalization and statistical analysis of bead-based immunoassay data. Our data set consisted of bead-based immunoassay measurements of 16 phospho-proteins in lysates of HepG2 cells treated with ligands that regulate acute-phase protein secretion. Mixed-effects modeling provided estimates for the effects of both the technical and biological sources of variance, and normalization was achieved by subtracting the technical effects from the measured values. This approach allowed us to detect ligand effects on signaling with greater precision and sensitivity and to more accurately characterize the HepG2 cell signaling network using constrained fuzzy logic. Mixed-effects modeling analysis of our data was vital for ascertaining that IL-1α and TGF-α treatment increased the activities of more pathways than IL-6 and TNF-α and that TGF-α and TNF-α increased p38 MAPK and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) phospho-protein levels in a synergistic manner. Moreover, we used mixed-effects modeling-based technical effect estimates to reveal the substantial variance contributed by batch effects along with the absence of loading order and assay plate position effects. We conclude that mixed-effects modeling enabled additional insights to be gained from our data than would otherwise be possible and we discuss how this methodology can play an important role in enhancing the value of experiments employing multiplexed bead-based immunoassays.
Ribosomal protein S1 has been shown to be a significant effector of prokaryotic translation. The protein is in fact capable of efficiently initiating translation, regardless of the presence of a Shine-Dalgarno sequence in mRNA. Structural insights into this process have remained elusive, as S1 is recalcitrant to traditional techniques of structural analysis, such as x-ray crystallography. Through the application of protein cross-linking and high resolution mass spectrometry, we have detailed the ribosomal binding site of S1 and have observed evidence of its dynamics. Our results support a previous hypothesis that S1 acts as the mRNA catching arm of the prokaryotic ribosome. We also demonstrate that in solution the major domains of the 30S subunit are remarkably flexible, capable of moving 30–50Å with respect to one another.
The intermembrane space (IMS) represents the smallest subcompartment of mitochondria. Nevertheless, it plays important roles in the transport and modification of proteins, lipids, and metal ions and in the regulation and assembly of the respiratory chain complexes. Moreover, it is involved in many redox processes and coordinates key steps in programmed cell death. A comprehensive profiling of IMS proteins has not been performed so far. We have established a method that uses the proapoptotic protein Bax to release IMS proteins from isolated mitochondria, and we profiled the protein composition of this compartment. Using stable isotope-labeled mitochondria from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we were able to measure specific Bax-dependent protein release and distinguish between quantitatively released IMS proteins and the background efflux of matrix proteins. From the known 31 soluble IMS proteins, 29 proteins were reproducibly identified, corresponding to a coverage of >90%. In addition, we found 20 novel intermembrane space proteins, out of which 10 had not been localized to mitochondria before. Many of these novel IMS proteins have unknown functions or have been reported to play a role in redox regulation. We confirmed IMS localization for 15 proteins using in organello import, protease accessibility upon osmotic swelling, and Bax-release assays. Moreover, we identified two novel mitochondrial proteins, Ymr244c-a (Coa6) and Ybl107c (Mic23), as substrates of the MIA import pathway that have unusual cysteine motifs and found the protein phosphatase Ptc5 to be a novel substrate of the inner membrane protease (IMP). For Coa6 we discovered a role as a novel assembly factor of the cytochrome c oxidase complex. We present here the first and comprehensive proteome of IMS proteins of yeast mitochondria with 51 proteins in total. The IMS proteome will serve as a valuable source for further studies on the role of the IMS in cell life and death.
Antibodies empower numerous important scientific, clinical, diagnostic, and industrial applications. Ideally, the epitope(s) targeted by an antibody should be identified and characterized, thereby establishing antibody reactivity, highlighting possible cross-reactivities, and perhaps even warning against unwanted (e.g. autoimmune) reactivities. Antibodies target proteins as either conformational or linear epitopes. The latter are typically probed with peptides, but the cost of peptide screening programs tends to prohibit comprehensive specificity analysis. To perform high-throughput, high-resolution mapping of linear antibody epitopes, we have used ultrahigh-density peptide microarrays generating several hundred thousand different peptides per array. Using exhaustive length and substitution analysis, we have successfully examined the specificity of a panel of polyclonal antibodies raised against linear epitopes of the human proteome and obtained very detailed descriptions of the involved specificities. The epitopes identified ranged from 4 to 12 amino acids in size. In general, the antibodies were of exquisite specificity, frequently disallowing even single conservative substitutions. In several cases, multiple distinct epitopes could be identified for the same target protein, suggesting an efficient approach to the generation of paired antibodies. Two alternative epitope mapping approaches identified similar, although not necessarily identical, epitopes. These results show that ultrahigh-density peptide microarrays can be used for linear epitope mapping. With an upper theoretical limit of 2,000,000 individual peptides per array, these peptide microarrays may even be used for a systematic validation of antibodies at the proteomic level.
Calorie restriction (CR) promotes longevity. A prevalent mechanistic hypothesis explaining this effect suggests that protein degradation, including mitochondrial autophagy, is increased with CR, removing damaged proteins and improving cellular fitness. At steady state, increased catabolism must be balanced by increasing mitochondrial biogenesis and protein synthesis, resulting in faster protein replacement rates. To test this hypothesis, we measured replacement kinetics and relative concentrations of hundreds of proteins in vivo in long-term CR and ad libitum-fed mice using metabolic 2H2O-labeling combined with the Stable Isotope Labeling in Mammals protocol and LC-MS/MS analysis of mass isotopomer abundances in tryptic peptides. CR reduced absolute synthesis and breakdown rates of almost all measured hepatic proteins and prolonged the half-lives of most (∼80%), particularly mitochondrial proteins (but not ribosomal subunits). Proteins with related functions exhibited coordinated changes in relative concentration and replacement rates. In silico expression pathway interrogation allowed the testing of potential regulators of altered network dynamics (e.g. peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha). In summary, our combination of dynamic and quantitative proteomics suggests that long-term CR reduces mitochondrial biogenesis and mitophagy. Our findings contradict the theory that CR increases mitochondrial protein turnover and provide compelling evidence that cellular fitness is accompanied by reduced global protein synthetic burden.
Phosphorylase kinase (PhK), a 1.3 MDa enzyme complex that regulates glycogenolysis, is composed of four copies each of four distinct subunits (α, β, γ, and δ). The catalytic protein kinase subunit within this complex is γ, and its activity is regulated by the three remaining subunits, which are targeted by allosteric activators from neuronal, metabolic, and hormonal signaling pathways. The regulation of activity of the PhK complex from skeletal muscle has been studied extensively; however, considerably less is known about the interactions among its subunits, particularly within the non-activated versus activated forms of the complex. Here, nanoelectrospray mass spectrometry and partial denaturation were used to disrupt PhK, and subunit dissociation patterns of non-activated and phospho-activated (autophosphorylation) conformers were compared. In so doing, we have established a network of subunit contacts that complements and extends prior evidence of subunit interactions obtained from chemical crosslinking, and these subunit interactions have been modeled for both conformers within the context of a known three-dimensional structure of PhK solved by cryoelectron microscopy. Our analyses show that the network of contacts among subunits differs significantly between the nonactivated and phospho-activated conformers of PhK, with the latter revealing new interprotomeric contact patterns for the β subunit, the predominant subunit responsible for PhK's activation by phosphorylation. Partial disruption of the phosphorylated conformer yields several novel subcomplexes containing multiple β subunits, arguing for their self-association within the activated complex. Evidence for the theoretical αβγδ protomeric subcomplex, which has been sought but not previously observed, was also derived from the phospho-activated complex. In addition to changes in subunit interaction patterns upon phospho-activation, mass spectrometry revealed a large change in the overall stability of the complex, with the phospho-activated conformer being more labile, in concordance with previous hypotheses on the mechanism of allosteric activation of PhK through perturbation of its inhibitory quaternary structure.
The application of mass spectrometry (MS) to the analysis of proteomes has enabled the high-throughput identification and abundance measurement of hundreds to thousands of proteins per experiment. However, the formidable informatics challenge associated with analyzing MS data has required a wide variety of data file formats to encode the complex data types associated with MS workflows. These formats encompass the encoding of input instruction for instruments, output products of the instruments, and several levels of information and results used by and produced by the informatics analysis tools. A brief overview of the most common file formats in use today is presented here, along with a discussion of related topics.
The original PRIDE Converter tool greatly simplified the process of submitting mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics data to the PRIDE database. However, after much user feedback, it was noted that the tool had some limitations and could not handle several user requirements that were now becoming commonplace. This prompted us to design and implement a whole new suite of tools that would build on the successes of the original PRIDE Converter and allow users to generate submission-ready, well-annotated PRIDE XML files. The PRIDE Converter 2 tool suite allows users to convert search result files into PRIDE XML (the format needed for performing submissions to the PRIDE database), generate mzTab skeleton files that can be used as a basis to submit quantitative and gel-based MS data, and post-process PRIDE XML files by filtering out contaminants and empty spectra, or by merging several PRIDE XML files together. All the tools have both a graphical user interface that provides a dialog-based, user-friendly way to convert and prepare files for submission, as well as a command-line interface that can be used to integrate the tools into existing or novel pipelines, for batch processing and power users. The PRIDE Converter 2 tool suite will thus become a cornerstone in the submission process to PRIDE and, by extension, to the ProteomeXchange consortium of MS-proteomics data repositories.
An important step in mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics is the identification of peptides by their fragment spectra. Regardless of the identification score achieved, almost all tandem-MS (MS/MS) spectra contain remaining peaks that are not assigned by the search engine. These peaks may be explainable by human experts but the scale of modern proteomics experiments makes this impractical. In computer science, Expert Systems are a mature technology to implement a list of rules generated by interviews with practitioners. We here develop such an Expert System, making use of literature knowledge as well as a large body of high mass accuracy and pure fragmentation spectra. Interestingly, we find that even with high mass accuracy data, rule sets can quickly become too complex, leading to over-annotation. Therefore we establish a rigorous false discovery rate, calculated by random insertion of peaks from a large collection of other MS/MS spectra, and use it to develop an optimized knowledge base. This rule set correctly annotates almost all peaks of medium or high abundance. For high resolution HCD data, median intensity coverage of fragment peaks in MS/MS spectra increases from 58% by search engine annotation alone to 86%. The resulting annotation performance surpasses a human expert, especially on complex spectra such as those of larger phosphorylated peptides. Our system is also applicable to high resolution collision-induced dissociation data. It is available both as a part of MaxQuant and via a webserver that only requires an MS/MS spectrum and the corresponding peptides sequence, and which outputs publication quality, annotated MS/MS spectra (www.biochem.mpg.de/mann/tools/). It provides expert knowledge to beginners in the field of MS-based proteomics and helps advanced users to focus on unusual and possibly novel types of fragment ions.
Hypusine modification of eukaryotic initiation factor 5A (eIF-5A) represents a unique and highly specific post-translational modification with regulatory functions in cancer, diabetes, and infectious diseases. However, the specific cellular pathways that are influenced by the hypusine modification remain largely unknown. To globally characterize eIF-5A and hypusine-dependent pathways, we used an approach that combines large-scale bioreactor cell culture with tandem affinity purification and mass spectrometry: “bioreactor-TAP-MS/MS.” By applying this approach systematically to all four components of the hypusine modification system (eIF-5A1, eIF-5A2, DHS, and DOHH), we identified 248 interacting proteins as components of the cellular hypusine network, with diverse functions including regulation of translation, mRNA processing, DNA replication, and cell cycle regulation. Network analysis of this data set enabled us to provide a comprehensive overview of the protein-protein interaction landscape of the hypusine modification system. In addition, we validated the interaction of eIF-5A with some of the newly identified associated proteins in more detail. Our analysis has revealed numerous novel interactions, and thus provides a valuable resource for understanding how this crucial homeostatic signaling pathway affects different cellular functions.
The lack of methods for proteome-scale detection of arginine methylation restricts our knowledge of its relevance in physiological and pathological processes. Here we show that most tryptic peptides containing methylated arginine(s) are highly basic and hydrophilic. Consequently, they could be considerably enriched from total cell extracts by simple protocols using either one of strong cation exchange chromatography, isoelectric focusing, or hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography, the latter being by far the most effective of all. These methods, coupled with heavy methyl-stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture and mass spectrometry, enabled in T cells the identification of 249 arginine methylation sites in 131 proteins, including 190 new sites and 93 proteins not previously known to be arginine methylated. By extending considerably the number of known arginine methylation sites, our data reveal a novel proline-rich consensus motif and identify for the first time arginine methylation in proteins involved in cytoskeleton rearrangement at the immunological synapse and in endosomal trafficking.
Post-translational modification of proteins by lysine acetylation plays important regulatory roles in living cells. The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a widely used unicellular eukaryotic model organism in biomedical research. S. cerevisiae contains several evolutionary conserved lysine acetyltransferases and deacetylases. However, only a few dozen acetylation sites in S. cerevisiae are known, presenting a major obstacle for further understanding the regulatory roles of acetylation in this organism. Here we use high resolution mass spectrometry to identify about 4000 lysine acetylation sites in S. cerevisiae. Acetylated proteins are implicated in the regulation of diverse cytoplasmic and nuclear processes including chromatin organization, mitochondrial metabolism, and protein synthesis. Bioinformatic analysis of yeast acetylation sites shows that acetylated lysines are significantly more conserved compared with nonacetylated lysines. A large fraction of the conserved acetylation sites are present on proteins involved in cellular metabolism, protein synthesis, and protein folding. Furthermore, quantification of the Rpd3-regulated acetylation sites identified several previously known, as well as new putative substrates of this deacetylase. Rpd3 deficiency increased acetylation of the SAGA (Spt-Ada-Gcn5-Acetyltransferase) complex subunit Sgf73 on K33. This acetylation site is located within a critical regulatory domain in Sgf73 that interacts with Ubp8 and is involved in the activation of the Ubp8-containing histone H2B deubiquitylase complex. Our data provides the first global survey of acetylation in budding yeast, and suggests a wide-ranging regulatory scope of this modification. The provided dataset may serve as an important resource for the functional analysis of lysine acetylation in eukaryotes.
Posttranslational modifications of proteins increase the complexity of the cellular proteome and enable rapid regulation of protein functions in response to environmental changes. Protein ubiquitylation is a central regulatory posttranslational modification that controls numerous biological processes including proteasomal degradation of proteins, DNA damage repair and innate immune responses. Here we combine high-resolution mass spectrometry with single-step immunoenrichment of di-glycine modified peptides for mapping of endogenous putative ubiquitylation sites in murine tissues. We identify more than 20,000 unique ubiquitylation sites on proteins involved in diverse biological processes. Our data reveals that ubiquitylation regulates core signaling pathways common for each of the studied tissues. In addition, we discover that ubiquitylation regulates tissue-specific signaling networks. Many tissue-specific ubiquitylation sites were obtained from brain highlighting the complexity and unique physiology of this organ. We further demonstrate that different di-glycine-lysine-specific monoclonal antibodies exhibit sequence preferences, and that their complementary use increases the depth of ubiquitylation site analysis, thereby providing a more unbiased view of protein ubiquitylation.
Survivin is responsible for cancer progression and drug resistance in many types of cancer. YM155 selectively suppresses the expression of survivin and induces apoptosis in cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. However, the mechanism underlying these effects of YM155 is unknown. Here, we show that a transcription factor, interleukin enhancer-binding factor 3 (ILF3)/NF110, is a direct binding target of YM155. The enhanced survivin promoter activity by overexpression of ILF3/NF110 was attenuated by YM155 in a concentration-dependent manner, suggesting that ILF3/NF110 is the physiological target through which YM155 mediates survivin suppression. The results also show that the unique C-terminal region of ILF3/NF110 is important for promoting survivin expression and for high affinity binding to YM155.
Bacteria use a variety of secretion systems to transport proteins beyond their cell membrane to interact with their environment. For bacterial pathogens, these systems are key virulence determinants that transport bacterial proteins into host cells. Genetic screens to identify bacterial genes required for export have relied on enzymatic or fluorescent reporters fused to known substrates to monitor secretion. However, they cannot be used in analysis of all secretion systems, limiting the implementation across bacteria. Here, we introduce the first application of a modified form of whole colony MALDI-TOF MS to directly detect protein secretion from intact bacterial colonies. We show that this method is able to specifically monitor the ESX-1 system protein secretion system, a major virulence determinant in both mycobacterial and Gram-positive pathogens that is refractory to reporter analysis. We validate the use of this technology as a high throughput screening tool by identifying an ESAT-6 system 1-deficient mutant from a Mycobacterium marinum transposon insertion library. Furthermore, we also demonstrate detection of secreted proteins of the prevalent type III secretion system from the Gram-negative pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This method will be broadly applicable to study other bacterial protein export systems and for the identification of compounds that inhibit bacterial protein secretion.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide with an annual incidence of ∼1 million cases and an annual mortality rate of ∼655,000 individuals. There is an urgent need for identifying novel targets to develop more sensitive, reliable, and specific tests for early stage detection of colon cancer. Post-translational modifications are known to play an important role in cancer progression and immune surveillance of tumors. In the present study, we compared the N-glycan profiles from 13 colorectal cancer tumor tissues and corresponding control colon tissues. The N-glycans were enzymatically released, purified, and labeled with 2-aminobenzoic acid. Aliquots were profiled by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC-HPLC) with fluorescence detection and by negative mode MALDI-TOF-MS. Using partial least squares discriminant analysis to investigate the N-glycosylation changes in colorectal cancer, an excellent separation and prediction ability were observed for both HILIC-HPLC and MALDI-TOF-MS data. For structure elucidation, information from positive mode ESI-ion trap-MS/MS and negative mode MALDI-TOF/TOF-MS was combined. Among the features with a high separation power, structures containing a bisecting GlcNAc were found to be decreased in the tumor, whereas sulfated glycans, paucimannosidic glycans, and glycans containing a sialylated Lewis type epitope were shown to be increased in tumor tissues. In addition, core-fucosylated high mannose N-glycans were detected in tumor samples. In conclusion, the combination of HILIC and MALDI-TOF-MS profiling of N-glycans with multivariate statistical analysis demonstrated its potential for identifying N-glycosylation changes in colorectal cancer tissues and provided new leads that might be used as candidate biomarkers.
The post-translational modification of proteins with O-GlcNAc is involved in various cellular processes including signal transduction, transcription, translation, and nuclear transport. This transient protein modification enables cells or tissues to adapt to nutrient conditions or stress. O-Glycosylation of the 26 S proteasome ATPase subunit Rpt2 is known to influence the stability of proteins by reducing their proteasome-dependent degradation. In contrast, knowledge of the sites of O-GlcNAcylation on the subunits of the catalytic core of the 26 S proteasome, the 20 S proteasome, and the impact on proteasome activity is very limited. This is predominantly because O-GlcNAc modifications are often substoichiometric and because 20 S proteasomes represent a complex protein mixture of different subtypes. Therefore, identification of O-GlcNAcylation sites on proteasome subunits essentially requires effective enrichment strategies. Here we describe an adapted β-elimination-based derivatization method of O-GlcNAc peptides using a novel biotin-cystamine tag. The specificity of the reaction was increased by differential isotopic labeling with either “light” biotin-cystamine or deuterated “heavy” biotin-cystamine. The enriched peptides were analyzed by LC-MALDI-TOF/TOF-MS and relatively quantified. The method was optimized using bovine α-crystallin and then applied to murine 20 S proteasomes isolated from spleen and brain and murine Hsp90 isolated from liver. Using this approach, we identified five novel and one known O-GlcNAc sites within the murine 20 S proteasome core complex that are located on five different subunits and in addition two novel O-GlcNAc sites on murine Hsp90β, of which one corresponds to a previously described phosphorylation site.