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author:("Kwon, keenan")
1.  Urine Sample Preparation in 96-Well Filter Plates for Quantitative Clinical Proteomics 
Analytical Chemistry  2014;86(11):5470-5477.
Urine is an important, noninvasively collected body fluid source for the diagnosis and prognosis of human diseases. Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) based shotgun proteomics has evolved as a sensitive and informative technique to discover candidate disease biomarkers from urine specimens. Filter-aided sample preparation (FASP) generates peptide samples from protein mixtures of cell lysate or body fluid origin. Here, we describe a FASP method adapted to 96-well filter plates, named 96FASP. Soluble urine concentrates containing ∼10 μg of total protein were processed by 96FASP and LC-MS resulting in 700–900 protein identifications at a 1% false discovery rate (FDR). The experimental repeatability, as assessed by label-free quantification and Pearson correlation analysis for shared proteins among replicates, was high (R ≥ 0.97). Application to urinary pellet lysates which is of particular interest in the context of urinary tract infection analysis was also demonstrated. On average, 1700 proteins (±398) were identified in five experiments. In a pilot study using 96FASP for analysis of eight soluble urine samples, we demonstrated that protein profiles of technical replicates invariably clustered; the protein profiles for distinct urine donors were very different from each other. Robust, highly parallel methods to generate peptide mixtures from urine and other body fluids are critical to increase cost-effectiveness in clinical proteomics projects. This 96FASP method has potential to become a gold standard for high-throughput quantitative clinical proteomics.
PMCID: PMC4045327  PMID: 24797144
2.  Mining Host-Pathogen Protein Interactions to Characterize Burkholderia mallei Infectivity Mechanisms 
PLoS Computational Biology  2015;11(3):e1004088.
Burkholderia pathogenicity relies on protein virulence factors to control and promote bacterial internalization, survival, and replication within eukaryotic host cells. We recently used yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) screening to identify a small set of novel Burkholderia proteins that were shown to attenuate disease progression in an aerosol infection animal model using the virulent Burkholderia mallei ATCC 23344 strain. Here, we performed an extended analysis of primarily nine B. mallei virulence factors and their interactions with human proteins to map out how the bacteria can influence and alter host processes and pathways. Specifically, we employed topological analyses to assess the connectivity patterns of targeted host proteins, identify modules of pathogen-interacting host proteins linked to processes promoting infectivity, and evaluate the effect of crosstalk among the identified host protein modules. Overall, our analysis showed that the targeted host proteins generally had a large number of interacting partners and interacted with other host proteins that were also targeted by B. mallei proteins. We also introduced a novel Host-Pathogen Interaction Alignment (HPIA) algorithm and used it to explore similarities between host-pathogen interactions of B. mallei, Yersinia pestis, and Salmonella enterica. We inferred putative roles of B. mallei proteins based on the roles of their aligned Y. pestis and S. enterica partners and showed that up to 73% of the predicted roles matched existing annotations. A key insight into Burkholderia pathogenicity derived from these analyses of Y2H host-pathogen interactions is the identification of eukaryotic-specific targeted cellular mechanisms, including the ubiquitination degradation system and the use of the focal adhesion pathway as a fulcrum for transmitting mechanical forces and regulatory signals. This provides the mechanisms to modulate and adapt the host-cell environment for the successful establishment of host infections and intracellular spread.
Author Summary
Burkholderia species need to manipulate many host processes and pathways in order to establish a successful intracellular infection in eukaryotic host organisms. Burkholderia mallei uses secreted virulence factor proteins as a means to execute host-pathogen interactions and promote pathogenesis. While validated virulence factor proteins have been shown to attenuate infection in animal models, their actual roles in modifying and influencing host processes are not well understood. Here, we used host-pathogen protein-protein interactions derived from yeast two-hybrid screens to study nine known B. mallei virulence factors and map out potential virulence mechanisms. From the data, we derived both general and specific insights into Burkholderia host-pathogen infectivity pathways. We showed that B. mallei virulence factors tended to target multifunctional host proteins, proteins that interacted with each other, and host proteins with a large number of interacting partners. We also identified similarities between host-pathogen interactions of B. mallei, Yersinia pestis, and Salmonella enterica using a novel host-pathogen interactions alignment algorithm. Importantly, our data are compatible with a framework in which multiple B. mallei virulence factors broadly influence key host processes related to ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis and focal adhesion. This provides B. mallei the means to modulate and adapt the host-cell environment to advance infection.
PMCID: PMC4349708  PMID: 25738731
3.  A Unique Human Mycoplasma Protein that Generically Blocks Antigen-Antibody Union 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2014;343(6171):656-661.
We report the discovery and crystal structure of a human mycoplasma protein, Protein M, which binds with high affinity to antibodies, predominantly through attachment to the variable region of the κ and λ light chains. Protein M broadly blocks antibody-antigen union and its mechanism of inhibition is of considerable interest because, as a diversity system, the binding mode of each antibody is different. Protein M thus appears to function by a mechanism that is independent of the sequences of members of the extensive antibody repertoire. By anchoring to conserved regions of the antibody light chains, Protein M is in a position to extend its large C-terminal domain over the antibody combining site and block entrance to macromolecular antigens.
PMCID: PMC3987992  PMID: 24503852
4.  Structural and functional characterization of microcin C resistance peptidase MccF from Bacillus anthracis 
Journal of molecular biology  2012;420(0):366-383.
Microcin C (McC) is heptapeptide-adenylate antibiotic produced by Escherichia coli strains carrying the mccABCDEF gene cluster encoding enzymes, in addition to the heptapeptide structural gene mccA, necessary for McC biosynthesis and self-immunity of the producing cell. The heptapeptide facilitates McC transport into susceptible cells, where it is processed releasing a non-hydrolyzable aminoacyl adenylate that inhibits an essential aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase. The self-immunity gene mccF encodes a specialized serine-peptidase that cleaves an amide bond connecting the peptidyl or aminoacyl moieties of, respectively, intact and processed McC with the nucleotidyl moiety. Most mccF orthologs from organisms other than E. coli are not linked to the McC biosynthesis gene cluster. Here, we show that a protein product of one such gene, MccF from Bacillus anthracis (BaMccF), is able to cleave intact and processed McC and we present a series of structures of this protein. Structural analysis of apo-BaMccF and its AMP-complex reveal specific features of MccF-like peptidases that allow them to interact with substrates containing nucleotidyl moieties. Sequence analyses and phylogenetic reconstructions suggest that several distinct subfamilies form the MccF clade of the large S66 family of bacterial serine peptidases. We show that various representatives of the MccF clade can specifically detoxify non-hydrolyzable aminoacyl adenylates differing in their aminoacyl moieties. We hypothesize that bacterial mccF genes serve as a source of bacterial antibiotic resistance.
PMCID: PMC3690760  PMID: 22516613
MccF; serine peptidase; nucleophilic elbow; catalytic triad (Ser-His-Glu); substrate binding loop
5.  Novel Burkholderia mallei Virulence Factors Linked to Specific Host-Pathogen Protein Interactions* 
Molecular & Cellular Proteomics : MCP  2013;12(11):3036-3051.
Burkholderia mallei is an infectious intracellular pathogen whose virulence and resistance to antibiotics makes it a potential bioterrorism agent. Given its genetic origin as a commensal soil organism, it is equipped with an extensive and varied set of adapted mechanisms to cope with and modulate host-cell environments. One essential virulence mechanism constitutes the specialized secretion systems that are designed to penetrate host-cell membranes and insert pathogen proteins directly into the host cell's cytosol. However, the secretion systems' proteins and, in particular, their host targets are largely uncharacterized. Here, we used a combined in silico, in vitro, and in vivo approach to identify B. mallei proteins required for pathogenicity. We used bioinformatics tools, including orthology detection and ab initio predictions of secretion system proteins, as well as published experimental Burkholderia data to initially select a small number of proteins as putative virulence factors. We then used yeast two-hybrid assays against normalized whole human and whole murine proteome libraries to detect and identify interactions among each of these bacterial proteins and host proteins. Analysis of such interactions provided both verification of known virulence factors and identification of three new putative virulence proteins. We successfully created insertion mutants for each of these three proteins using the virulent B. mallei ATCC 23344 strain. We exposed BALB/c mice to mutant strains and the wild-type strain in an aerosol challenge model using lethal B. mallei doses. In each set of experiments, mice exposed to mutant strains survived for the 21-day duration of the experiment, whereas mice exposed to the wild-type strain rapidly died. Given their in vivo role in pathogenicity, and based on the yeast two-hybrid interaction data, these results point to the importance of these pathogen proteins in modulating host ubiquitination pathways, phagosomal escape, and actin-cytoskeleton rearrangement processes.
PMCID: PMC3820922  PMID: 23800426
6.  The HaloTag: Improving Soluble Expression and Applications in Protein Functional Analysis 
Technological and methodological advances have been critical for the rapidly evolving field of proteomics. The development of fusion tag systems is essential for purification and analysis of recombinant proteins. The HaloTag is a 34 KDa monomeric protein derived from a bacterial haloalkane dehalogenase. The majority of fusion tags in use today utilize a reversible binding interaction with a specific ligand. The HaloTag system is unique in that it forms a covalent linkage to its chloroalkane ligand. This linkage permits attachment of the HaloTag to a variety of functional reporters, which can be used to label and immobilize recombinant proteins. The success rate for HaloTag expression of soluble proteins is very high and comparable to maltose binding protein (MBP) tag. Furthermore, cleavage of the HaloTag does not result in protein insolubility that often is observed with the MBP tag. In the present report, we describe applications of the HaloTag system in our ongoing investigation of protein-protein interactions of the Y. pestis Type 3 secretion system on a custom protein microarray. We also describe the utilization of affinity purification/mass spectroscopy (AP/MS) to evaluate the utility of the Halo Tag system to characterize DNA binding activity and protein specificity.
PMCID: PMC3480702  PMID: 23115610
HaloTag; protein-protein interactions; protein-DNA interactions; expression; immobilization; Type 3 secretion factors; E. coli RpoA.
7.  Structural characterization and comparison of three acyl-carrier-protein synthases from pathogenic bacteria 
The structural characterization of acyl-carrier-protein synthase (AcpS) from three different pathogenic microorganisms is reported. One interesting finding of the present work is a crystal artifact related to the activity of the enzyme, which fortuitously represents an opportunity for a strategy to design a potential inhibitor of a pathogenic AcpS.
Some bacterial type II fatty-acid synthesis (FAS II) enzymes have been shown to be important candidates for drug discovery. The scientific and medical quest for new FAS II protein targets continues to stimulate research in this field. One of the possible additional candidates is the acyl-carrier-protein synthase (AcpS) enzyme. Its holo form post-translationally modifies the apo form of an acyl carrier protein (ACP), which assures the constant delivery of thioester intermediates to the discrete enzymes of FAS II. At the Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases (CSGID), AcpSs from Staphylococcus aureus (AcpSSA), Vibrio cholerae (AcpSVC) and Bacillus anthracis (AcpSBA) have been structurally characterized in their apo, holo and product-bound forms, respectively. The structure of AcpSBA is emphasized because of the two 3′,5′-adenosine diphosphate (3′,5′-ADP) product molecules that are found in each of the three coenzyme A (CoA) binding sites of the trimeric protein. One 3′,5′-ADP is bound as the 3′,5′-ADP part of CoA in the known structures of the CoA–AcpS and 3′,5′-ADP–AcpS binary complexes. The position of the second 3′,5′-ADP has never been described before. It is in close proximity to the first 3′,5′-­ADP and the ACP-binding site. The coordination of two ADPs in AcpSBA may possibly be exploited for the design of AcpS inhibitors that can block binding of both CoA and ACP.
PMCID: PMC3447402  PMID: 22993090
acyl-carrier-protein synthase; acyl carrier protein; type II fatty-acid synthesis; inhibition; 3′,5′-adenosine diphosphate; coenzyme A
8.  Recombinant expression and functional analysis of proteases from Streptococcus pneumoniae, Bacillus anthracis, and Yersinia pestis 
BMC Biochemistry  2011;12:17.
Uncharacterized proteases naturally expressed by bacterial pathogens represents important topic in infectious disease research, because these enzymes may have critical roles in pathogenicity and cell physiology. It has been observed that cloning, expression and purification of proteases often fail due to their catalytic functions which, in turn, cause toxicity in the E. coli heterologous host.
In order to address this problem systematically, a modified pipeline of our high-throughput protein expression and purification platform was developed. This included the use of a specific E. coli strain, BL21(DE3) pLysS to tightly control the expression of recombinant proteins and various expression vectors encoding fusion proteins to enhance recombinant protein solubility. Proteases fused to large fusion protein domains, maltosebinding protein (MBP), SP-MBP which contains signal peptide at the N-terminus of MBP, disulfide oxidoreductase (DsbA) and Glutathione S-transferase (GST) improved expression and solubility of proteases. Overall, 86.1% of selected protease genes including hypothetical proteins were expressed and purified using a combination of five different expression vectors. To detect novel proteolytic activities, zymography and fluorescence-based assays were performed and the protease activities of more than 46% of purified proteases and 40% of hypothetical proteins that were predicted to be proteases were confirmed.
Multiple expression vectors, employing distinct fusion tags in a high throughput pipeline increased overall success rates in expression, solubility and purification of proteases. The combinatorial functional analysis of the purified proteases using fluorescence assays and zymography confirmed their function.
PMCID: PMC3113736  PMID: 21545736
9.  High quality protein microarray using in situ protein purification 
BMC Biotechnology  2009;9:72.
In the postgenomic era, high throughput protein expression and protein microarray technologies have progressed markedly permitting screening of therapeutic reagents and discovery of novel protein functions. Hexa-histidine is one of the most commonly used fusion tags for protein expression due to its small size and convenient purification via immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography (IMAC). This purification process has been adapted to the protein microarray format, but the quality of in situ His-tagged protein purification on slides has not been systematically evaluated. We established methods to determine the level of purification of such proteins on metal chelate-modified slide surfaces. Optimized in situ purification of His-tagged recombinant proteins has the potential to become the new gold standard for cost-effective generation of high-quality and high-density protein microarrays.
Two slide surfaces were examined, chelated Cu2+ slides suspended on a polyethylene glycol (PEG) coating and chelated Ni2+ slides immobilized on a support without PEG coating. Using PEG-coated chelated Cu2+ slides, consistently higher purities of recombinant proteins were measured. An optimized wash buffer (PBST) composed of 10 mM phosphate buffer, 2.7 mM KCl, 140 mM NaCl and 0.05% Tween 20, pH 7.4, further improved protein purity levels. Using Escherichia coli cell lysates expressing 90 recombinant Streptococcus pneumoniae proteins, 73 proteins were successfully immobilized, and 66 proteins were in situ purified with greater than 90% purity. We identified several antigens among the in situ-purified proteins via assays with anti-S. pneumoniae rabbit antibodies and a human patient antiserum, as a demonstration project of large scale microarray-based immunoproteomics profiling. The methodology is compatible with higher throughput formats of in vivo protein expression, eliminates the need for resin-based purification and circumvents protein solubility and denaturation problems caused by buffer exchange steps and freeze-thaw cycles, which are associated with resin-based purification, intermittent protein storage and deposition on microarrays.
An optimized platform for in situ protein purification on microarray slides using His-tagged recombinant proteins is a desirable tool for the screening of novel protein functions and protein-protein interactions. In the context of immunoproteomics, such protein microarrays are complimentary to approaches using non-recombinant methods to discover and characterize bacterial antigens.
PMCID: PMC2746808  PMID: 19698181

Results 1-9 (9)