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1.  Dictyostelium Lipid Droplets Host Novel Proteins 
Eukaryotic Cell  2013;12(11):1517-1529.
Across all kingdoms of life, cells store energy in a specialized organelle, the lipid droplet. In general, it consists of a hydrophobic core of triglycerides and steryl esters surrounded by only one leaflet derived from the endoplasmic reticulum membrane to which a specific set of proteins is bound. We have chosen the unicellular organism Dictyostelium discoideum to establish kinetics of lipid droplet formation and degradation and to further identify the lipid constituents and proteins of lipid droplets. Here, we show that the lipid composition is similar to what is found in mammalian lipid droplets. In addition, phospholipids preferentially consist of mainly saturated fatty acids, whereas neutral lipids are enriched in unsaturated fatty acids. Among the novel protein components are LdpA, a protein specific to Dictyostelium, and Net4, which has strong homologies to mammalian DUF829/Tmem53/NET4 that was previously only known as a constituent of the mammalian nuclear envelope. The proteins analyzed so far appear to move from the endoplasmic reticulum to the lipid droplets, supporting the concept that lipid droplets are formed on this membrane.
PMCID: PMC3837934  PMID: 24036346
2.  Chemical tools selectively target components of the PKA system 
In the eukaryotic cell the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) is a key enzyme in signal transduction and represents the main target of the second messenger cAMP. Here we describe the design, synthesis and characterisation of specifically tailored cAMP analogs which can be utilised as a tool for affinity enrichment and purification as well as for proteomics based analyses of cAMP binding proteins.
Two sets of chemical binders were developed based on the phosphorothioate derivatives of cAMP, Sp-cAMPS and Rp-cAMPS acting as cAMP-agonists and -antagonists, respectively. These compounds were tested via direct surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analyses for their binding properties to PKA R-subunits and holoenzyme. Furthermore, these analogs were used in an affinity purification approach to analyse their binding and elution properties for the enrichment and improvement of cAMP binding proteins exemplified by the PKA R-subunits. As determined by SPR, all tested Sp-analogs provide valuable tools for affinity chromatography. However, Sp-8-AEA-cAMPS displayed (i) superior enrichment properties while maintaining low unspecific binding to other proteins in crude cell lysates, (ii) allowing mild elution conditions and (iii) providing the capability to efficiently purify all four isoforms of active PKA R-subunit in milligram quantities within 8 h. In a chemical proteomics approach both sets of binders, Rp- and Sp-cAMPS derivatives, can be employed. Whereas Sp-8-AEA-cAMPS preferentially binds free R-subunit, Rp-AHDAA-cAMPS, displaying antagonist properties, not only binds to the free PKA R-subunits but also to the intact PKA holoenzyme both from recombinant and endogenous sources.
In summary, all tested cAMP analogs were useful for their respective application as an affinity reagent which can enhance purification of cAMP binding proteins. Sp-8-AEA-cAMPS was considered the most efficient analog since Sp-8-AHA-cAMPS and Sp-2-AHA-cAMPS, demonstrated incomplete elution from the matrix, as well as retaining notable amounts of bound protein contaminants. Furthermore it could be demonstrated that an affinity resin based on Rp-8-AHDAA-cAMPS provides a valuable tool for chemical proteomics approaches.
PMCID: PMC2660902  PMID: 19216744

Results 1-2 (2)