Cancer genome characterization has revealed driver mutations in genes that govern ubiquitylation; however, the mechanisms by which these alterations promote tumorigenesis remain incompletely characterized. Here, we analyzed changes in the ubiquitin landscape induced by prostate cancer-associated mutations of SPOP, an E3 ubiquitin ligase substrate-binding protein. SPOP mutants impaired ubiquitylation of a subset of proteins in a dominant-negative fashion. Of these, DEK and TRIM24 emerged as effector substrates consistently up-regulated by SPOP mutants. We highlight DEK as a SPOP substrate that exhibited decreases in ubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation resulting from heteromeric complexes of wild-type and mutant SPOP protein. DEK stabilization promoted prostate epithelial cell invasion, which implicated DEK as an oncogenic effector. More generally, these results provide a framework to decipher tumorigenic mechanisms linked to dysregulated ubiquitylation.
Despite being extensively characterized structurally and biochemically, the functional role of histone deacetylase 8 (HDAC8) has remained largely obscure due in part to a lack of known cellular substrates. Herein, we describe an unbiased approach using chemical tools in conjunction with sophisticated proteomics methods to identify novel non-histone nuclear substrates of HDAC8, including the tumor suppressor ARID1A. These newly discovered substrates of HDAC8 are involved in diverse biological processes including mitosis, transcription, chromatin remodeling, and RNA splicing and may help guide therapeutic strategies that target the function of HDAC8.
Obtaining complete protein inventories for subcellular regions is a challenge that often limits our understanding of cellular function, especially for regions that are impossible to purify and are therefore inaccessible to traditional proteomic analysis. We recently developed a method to map proteomes in living cells with an engineered peroxidase (APEX) that bypasses the need for organellar purification when applied to membrane-bound compartments; however, it was insufficiently specific when applied to unbounded regions that allow APEX-generated radicals to escape. Here, we combine APEX technology with a SILAC-based ratiometric tagging strategy to substantially reduce unwanted background and achieve nanometer spatial resolution. This is applied to map the proteome of the mitochondrial intermembrane space (IMS), which can freely exchange small molecules with the cytosol. Our IMS proteome of 127 proteins has >94% specificity and includes nine newly discovered mitochondrial proteins. This approach will enable scientists to map proteomes of cellular regions that were previously inaccessible.
Type-1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which insulin-secreting pancreatic beta cells are destroyed by the immune system. An emerging strategy to regenerate beta-cell mass is through transdifferentiation of pancreatic alpha cells to beta cells. We previously reported two small molecules, BRD7389 and GW8510, that induce insulin expression in a mouse alpha cell line and provide a glimpse into potential intermediate cell states in beta-cell reprogramming from alpha cells. These small-molecule studies suggested that inhibition of kinases in particular may induce the expression of several beta-cell markers in alpha cells. To identify potential lineage reprogramming protein targets, we compared the transcriptome, proteome, and phosphoproteome of alpha cells, beta cells, and compound-treated alpha cells. Our phosphoproteomic analysis indicated that two kinases, BRSK1 and CAMKK2, exhibit decreased phosphorylation in beta cells compared to alpha cells, and in compound-treated alpha cells compared to DMSO-treated alpha cells. Knock-down of these kinases in alpha cells resulted in expression of key beta-cell markers. These results provide evidence that perturbation of the kinome may be important for lineage reprogramming of alpha cells to beta cells.
Lenalidomide is a drug with clinical efficacy in multiple myeloma and other B cell neoplasms, but its mechanism of action is unknown. Using quantitative proteomics, we found that lenalidomide causes selective ubiquitination and degradation of two lymphoid transcription factors, IKZF1 and IKZF3, by the CRBN-CRL4 ubiquitin ligase. IKZF1 and IKZF3 are essential transcription factors in multiple myeloma. A single amino acid substitution of IKZF3 conferred resistance to lenalidomide-induced degradation and rescued lenalidomide-induced inhibition of cell growth. Similarly, we found that lenalidomide-induced IL2 production in T cells is due to depletion of IKZF1 and IKZF3. These findings reveal a novel mechanism of action for a therapeutic agent, alteration of the activity of an E3 ubiquitin ligase leading to selective degradation of specific targets.
The mitochondrial uniporter is a highly selective calcium channel in the organelles inner membrane. Its molecular components include the EF-hand-containing calcium-binding proteins mitochondrial calcium uptake 1 (MICU1) and MICU2 and the pore-forming subunit mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU). We sought to achieve a full molecular characterization of the uniporter holocomplex (uniplex). Quantitative mass spectrometry of affinity-purified uniplex recovered MICU1 and MICU2, MCU and its paralog MCUb, and essential MCU regulator (EMRE), a previously uncharacterized protein. EMRE is a 10-kilodalton, metazoan-specific protein with a single transmembrane domain. In its absence, uniporter channel activity was lost despite intact MCU expression and oligomerization. EMRE was required for the interaction of MCU with MICU1 and MICU2. Hence, EMRE is essential for in vivo uniporter current and additionally bridges the calcium-sensing role of MICU1 and MICU2 with the calcium-conducting role of MCU.
Ubiquitination is essential for the regulation of cellular protein homeostasis. It also has a central role in numerous signaling events. Recent advances in the production and availability of antibodies that recognize the Lys-?-Gly-Gly (K-?-GG) remnant produced by trypsin digestion of proteins having ubiquitinated lysine side chains have markedly improved the ability to enrich and detect endogenous ubiquitination sites by mass spectrometry (MS). The following protocol describes the steps required to complete a large-scale ubiquitin experiment for the detection of tens of thousands of distinct ubiquitination sites from cell lines or tissue samples. Specifically, we present detailed, step-by-step instructions for sample preparation, off-line fractionation by reversed-phase chromatography at pH 10, immobilization of an antibody specific to K-?-GG to beads by chemical cross-linking, enrichment of ubiquitinated peptides using these antibodies and proteomic analysis of enriched samples by LC-tandem MS (MS/MS). Relative quantification can be achieved by performing stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) labeling of cells. After cell or tissue samples have been prepared for lysis, the described protocol can be completed in ?5 d.
We report a mass spectrometry-based method for the integrated analysis of protein expression, phosphorylation, ubiquitination and acetylation by serial enrichments of different post-translational modifications (SEPTM) from the same biological sample. This technology enabled quantitative analysis of nearly 8,000 proteins and more than 20,000 phosphorylation, 15,000 ubiquitination and 3,000 acetylation sites per experiment, generating a holistic view of cellular signal transduction pathways as exemplified by analysis of bortezomib-treated human leukemia cells.
Microscopy and mass spectrometry (MS) are complementary techniques: The former provides spatiotemporal information in living cells, but only for a handful of recombinant proteins at a time, whereas the latter can detect thousands of endogenous proteins simultaneously, but only in lysed samples. Here, we introduce technology that combines these strengths by offering spatially and temporally resolved proteomic maps of endogenous proteins within living cells. Our method relies on a genetically targetable peroxidase enzyme that biotinylates nearby proteins, which are subsequently purified and identified by MS. We used this approach to identify 495 proteins within the human mitochondrial matrix, including 31 not previously linked to mitochondria. The labeling was exceptionally specific and distinguished between inner membrane proteins facing the matrix versus the intermembrane space (IMS). Several proteins previously thought to reside in the IMS or outer membrane, including protoporphyrinogen oxidase, were reassigned to the matrix by our proteomic data and confirmed by electron microscopy. The specificity of peroxidase-mediated proteomic mapping in live cells, combined with its ease of use, offers biologists a powerful tool for understanding the molecular composition of living cells.
O-GlcNAcylation is a dynamic protein modification which has been studied mainly in metazoans. We reported previously that an Arabidopsis thaliana O-GlcNAc transferase modifies at least two threonine residues of the Plum pox virus (PPV) capsid protein (CP). Now, six additional residues were shown to be involved in O-GlcNAc modification of PPV CP. CP O-GlcNAcylation was abolished in the PPV CP7-T/A mutant, in which seven threonines were mutated. PPV CP7-T/A infected Nicotiana clevelandii, Nicotiana benthamiana, and Prunus persica without noticeable defects. However, defects in infection of A. thaliana were readily apparent. In mixed infections of wild-type arabidopsis, the CP7-T/A mutant was outcompeted by wild-type virus. These results indicate that CP O-GlcNAcylation has a major role in the infection process. O-GlcNAc modification may have a role in virion assembly and/or stability as the CP of PPV CP7-T/A was more sensitive to protease digestion than that of the wild-type virus.
Labeling of primary amines on peptides with reagents containing stable isotopes is a commonly used technique in quantitative mass spectrometry. Isobaric labeling techniques such as iTRAQ™ or TMT™ allow for relative quantification of peptides based on ratios of reporter ions in the low m/z region of spectra produced by precursor ion fragmentation. In contrast, nonisobaric labeling with mTRAQ™ yields precursors with different masses that can be directly quantified in MS1 spectra. In this study, we compare iTRAQ- and mTRAQ-based quantification of peptides and phosphopeptides derived from EGF-stimulated HeLa cells. Both labels have identical chemical structures, therefore precursor ion- and fragment ion-based quantification can be directly compared. Our results indicate that iTRAQ labeling has an additive effect on precursor intensities, whereas mTRAQ labeling leads to more redundant MS2 scanning events caused by triggering on the same peptide with different mTRAQ labels. We found that iTRAQ labeling quantified nearly threefold more phosphopeptides (12,129 versus 4,448) and nearly twofold more proteins (2,699 versus 1,597) than mTRAQ labeling. Although most key proteins in the EGFR signaling network were quantified with both techniques, iTRAQ labeling allowed quantification of twice as many kinases. Accuracy of reporter ion quantification by iTRAQ is adversely affected by peptides that are cofragmented in the same precursor isolation window, dampening observed ratios toward unity. However, because of tighter overall iTRAQ ratio distributions, the percentage of statistically significantly regulated phosphopeptides and proteins detected by iTRAQ and mTRAQ was similar. We observed a linear correlation of logarithmic iTRAQ to mTRAQ ratios over two orders of magnitude, indicating a possibility to correct iTRAQ ratios by an average compression factor. Spike-in experiments using peptides of defined ratios in a background of nonregulated peptides show that iTRAQ quantification is less accurate but not as variable as mTRAQ quantification.
The capsid protein of Plum pox virus (PPV-CP) is modified with O-linked ?-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc). In Arabidopsis thaliana this modification is made by an O-GlcNAc transferase named SECRET AGENT (SEC). Modification of PPV-CP by SEC is hypothesized to have a direct role in the infection process, because virus titer and rate of spread are reduced in SEC mutants. Previous studies used deletion mapping and site-directed mutagenesis to identify four O-GlcNAc sites on the capsid protein that are modified by Escherichia coli-expressed SEC. The infection process was not affected when two of these sites were mutated suggesting that O-GlcNAcylation of these sites does not have a significant role in the infection process or that a subset of the modifications is sufficient. Since it is possible that the mutational mapping approach missed or incorrectly identified O-GlcNAc sites, the modifications produced by E. coli-expressed SEC were characterized using mass spectrometry. O-GlcNAcylated peptides were enzymatically tagged with galactose, the products were enriched on immobilized Ricinus communis agglutinin I and sequenced by electron transfer dissociation (ETD) mass spectrometry. Five O-GlcNAc sites on PPV-CP were identified. Two of these sites were not identified in by the previous mutational mapping. In addition, one site previously predicted by mutation mapping was not detected, but modification of this site was not supported when the mutation mapping was repeated. This study suggests that mapping modification sites by ETD mass spectrometry is more comprehensive and accurate than mutational mapping.
Like phosphorylation, the addition of O-linked beta-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAcylation) is a ubiquitous, reversible process that modifies serine and threonine residues on nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins. Overexpression of the enzyme that adds O-GlcNAc to target proteins, O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT), perturbs cytokinesis and promotes polyploidy, but the molecular targets of OGT that are important for its cell cycle functions are unknown. Here, we identify 141 previously unknown O-GlcNAc sites on proteins that function in spindle assembly and cytokinesis. Many of these O-GlcNAcylation sites are either identical to known phosphorylation sites or in close proximity to them. Furthermore, we found that O-GlcNAcylation altered the phosphorylation of key proteins associated with the mitotic spindle and midbody. Forced overexpression of OGT increased the inhibitory phosphorylation of cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) and reduced the phosphorylation of CDK1 target proteins. The increased phosphorylation of CDK1 is explained by increased activation of its upstream kinase, MYT1, and by a concomitant reduction in the transcript for the CDK1 phosphatase, CDC25C. OGT overexpression also caused a reduction in both messenger RNA expression and protein abundance of Polo-like kinase 1, which is upstream of both MYT1 and CDC25C. The data not only illustrate the crosstalk between O-GlcNAcylation and phosphorylation of proteins that are regulators of crucial signaling pathways but also uncover a mechanism for the role of O-GlcNAcylation in regulation of cell division.
Numerous cellular processes are regulated by the reversible addition of either phosphate or O-linked beta-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) to nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins. Although sensitive methods exist for the enrichment and identification of protein phosphorylation sites, those for the enrichment of O-GlcNAc-containing peptides are lacking. Reported here is highly efficient methodology for the enrichment and characterization of O-GlcNAc sites from complex samples. In this method, O-GlcNAc-modified peptides are tagged with a novel biotinylation reagent, enriched by affinity chromatography, released from the solid support by photochemical cleavage, and analyzed by electron transfer dissociation mass spectrometry. Using this strategy, eight O-GlcNAc sites were mapped from a tau-enriched sample from rat brain. Sites of GlcNAcylation were characterized on important neuronal proteins such as tau, synucleins, and methyl CpG-binding protein 2.
Metabolic and stress response gene regulation is crucial for the survival of an organism to a changing environment. Three key molecules that sense nutrients and broadly affect gene expression are the FoxO transcription factors, the transcriptional co-activator PGC-1alpha, and the dynamic post-translational modification, O-linked beta-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc). Here we identify novel post-translational modifications of PGC-1alpha, including O-GlcNAc, and describe a novel mechanism for how PGC-1alpha co-activates transcription by FoxOs. In liver, in cultured cells, and in vitro with recombinant proteins, PGC-1alpha binds to O-GlcNAc transferase and targets the enzyme to FoxOs, resulting in their increased GlcNAcylation and increased transcriptional activity. Furthermore, glucose-enhanced activation of FoxO1 occurs via this PGC-1alpha-O-GlcNAc transferase-mediated GlcNAcylation. Therefore, one mechanism by which PGC-1alpha can serve as a co-activator of transcription is by targeting the O-GlcNAc transferase to increase GlcNAcylation of specific transcription factors important to nutrient/stress sensing and energy metabolism.
Detection of endogenous ubiquitination sites by mass spectrometry has dramatically improved with the commercialization of anti-di-glycine remnant (K-?-GG) antibodies. Here, we describe a number of improvements to the K-?-GG enrichment workflow, including optimized antibody and peptide input requirements, antibody cross-linking, and improved off-line fractionation prior to enrichment. This refined and practical workflow enables routine identification and quantification of ?20,000 distinct endogenous ubiquitination sites in a single SILAC experiment using moderate amounts of protein input.
Many plant proteins are modified with N-linked oligosaccharides at asparagine-X-serine/threonine sites during transit through the endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi. We have identified a number of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) proteins with modifications consisting of an N-linked N-acetyl-D-glucosamine monosaccharide (N-GlcNAc). Electron transfer dissociation mass spectrometry analysis of peptides bearing this modification mapped the modification to asparagine-X-serine/threonine sites on proteins that are predicted to transit through the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi. A mass labeling method was developed and used to study N-GlcNAc modification of two thioglucoside glucohydrolases (myrosinases), TGG1 and TGG2 (for thioglucoside glucohydrolase). These myrosinases are also modified with high-mannose (Man)-type glycans. We found that N-GlcNAc and high-Man-type glycans can occur at the same site. It has been hypothesized that N-GlcNAc modifications are generated when endo-?-N-acetylglucosaminidase (ENGase) cleaves N-linked glycans. We examined the effects of mutations affecting the two known Arabidopsis ENGases on N-GlcNAc modification of myrosinase and found that modification of TGG2 was greatly reduced in one of the single mutants and absent in the double mutant. Surprisingly, N-GlcNAc modification of TGG1 was not affected in any of the mutants. These data support the hypothesis that ENGases hydrolyze high-Man glycans to produce some of the N-GlcNAc modifications but also suggest that some N-GlcNAc modifications are generated by another mechanism. Since N-GlcNAc modification was detected at only one site on each myrosinase, the production of the N-GlcNAc modification may be regulated.
Ubiquitination plays a key role in protein degradation and signal transduction. Ubiquitin is a small protein modifier that is adducted to lysine residues by the combined function of E1, E2, and E3 enzymes and is removed by deubiquitinating enzymes. Characterization of ubiquitination sites is important for understanding the role of this modification in cellular processes and disease. However, until recently, large-scale characterization of endogenous ubiquitination sites has been hampered by the lack of efficient enrichment techniques. The introduction of antibodies that specifically recognize peptides with lysine residues that harbor a di-glycine remnant (K-?-GG) following tryptic digestion has dramatically improved the ability to enrich and identify ubiquitination sites from cellular lysates. We used this enrichment technique to study the effects of proteasome inhibition by MG-132 and deubiquitinase inhibition by PR-619 on ubiquitination sites in human Jurkat cells by quantitative high performance mass spectrometry. Minimal fractionation of digested lysates prior to immunoaffinity enrichment increased the yield of K-?-GG peptides three- to fourfold resulting in detection of up to ~3300 distinct K-GG peptides in SILAC triple encoded experiments starting from 5 mg of protein per label state. In total, we identify 5533 distinct K-?-GG peptides of which 4907 were quantified in this study, demonstrating that the strategy presented is a practical approach to perturbational studies in cell systems. We found that proteasome inhibition by MG-132 and deubiquitinase inhibition by PR-619 induces significant changes to the ubiquitin landscape, but that not all ubiquitination sites regulated by MG-132 and PR-619 are likely substrates for the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Additionally, we find that the proteasome and deubiquitinase inhibitors studied induced only minor changes in protein expression levels regardless of the extent of regulation induced at the ubiquitin site level. We attribute this finding to the low stoichiometry of the majority ubiquitination sites identified in this study.
The defining step in most chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays is the use of an antibody to enrich for a particular protein or histone modification state associated with segments of chromatin. The specificity of the antibody is critical to the interpretation of the experiment, yet this property is rarely reported. Here, we present a quantitative method using mass spectrometry to characterize the specificity of key histone H3 modification-targeting antibodies that have previously been used to characterize the "histone code." We further extend the use of these antibody reagents to the observation of long range correlations among disparate histone modifications. Using purified human histones representing the mixture of chromatin states present in living cells, we were able to quantify the degree of target enrichment and the specificity of several commonly used, commercially available ChIP grade antibodies. We found significant differences in enrichment efficiency among various reagents directed against four frequently studied chromatin marks: H3K4me2, H3K4me3, H3K9me3, and H3K27me3. For some antibodies, we also detected significant off target enrichment of alternate modifications at the same site (i.e., enrichment of H3K4me2 by an antibody directed against H3K4me3). Through cluster analysis, we were able to recognize patterns of co-enrichment of marks at different sites on the same histone protein. Surprisingly, these co-enrichments corresponded well to "canonical" chromatin states that are exemplary of activated and repressed regions of chromatin. Altogether, our findings suggest that 1) the results of ChIP experiments need to be evaluated with caution given the potential for cross-reactivity of the commonly used histone modification recognizing antibodies, 2) multiple marks with consistent biological interpretation exist on the same histone protein molecule, and 3) some components of the histone code may be transduced on single proteins in living cells.
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