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.
Panorama is a web application for storing, sharing, analyzing, and reusing targeted assays created and refined with Skyline,1 an increasingly popular Windows client software tool for targeted proteomics experiments. Panorama allows laboratories to store and organize curated results contained in Skyline documents with fine-grained permissions, which facilitates distributed collaboration and secure sharing of published and unpublished data via a web-browser interface. It is fully integrated with the Skyline workflow and supports publishing a document directly to a Panorama server from the Skyline user interface. Panorama captures the complete Skyline document information content in a relational database schema. Curated results published to Panorama can be aggregated and exported as chromatogram libraries. These libraries can be used in Skyline to pick optimal targets in new experiments and to validate peak identification of target peptides. Panorama is open-source and freely available. It is distributed as part of LabKey Server,2 an open source biomedical research data management system. Laboratories and organizations can set up Panorama locally by downloading and installing the software on their own servers. They can also request freely hosted projects on https://panoramaweb.org , a Panorama server maintained by the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington.
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.
The cell-biological program termed the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) confers on cancer cells mesenchymal traits and an ability to enter the cancer stem cell (CSC) state. However, the interactions between CSCs and their surrounding microenvironment are poorly understood. Here we show that tumour-associated monocytes and macrophages (TAMs) create a CSC niche through juxtacrine signalling with CSCs. We performed quantitative proteomic profiling and found that the EMT program upregulates the expression of CD90, also known as Thy1, and EphA4, which mediate the physical interactions of CSCs with TAMs by directly binding with their respective counter-receptors on these cells. In response, the EphA4 receptor on the carcinoma cells activates Src and NF-?B. In turn, NF-?B in the CSCs induces the secretion of a variety of cytokines that serve to sustain the stem cell state. Indeed, admixed macrophages enhance the CSC activities of carcinoma cells. These findings underscore the significance of TAMs as important components of the CSC niche.
A coding polymorphism (Thr300Ala) in the essential autophagy gene, autophagy related 16-like 1 (ATG16L1), confers increased risk for the development of Crohn disease, although the mechanisms by which single disease-associated polymorphisms contribute to pathogenesis have been difficult to dissect given that environmental factors likely influence disease initiation in these patients. Here we introduce a knock-in mouse model expressing the Atg16L1 T300A variant. Consistent with the human polymorphism, T300A knock-in mice do not develop spontaneous intestinal inflammation, but exhibit morphological defects in Paneth and goblet cells. Selective autophagy is reduced in multiple cell types from T300A knock-in mice compared with WT mice. The T300A polymorphism significantly increases caspase 3- and caspase 7-mediated cleavage of Atg16L1, resulting in lower levels of full-length Atg16Ll T300A protein. Moreover, Atg16L1 T300A is associated with decreased antibacterial autophagy and increased IL-1? production in primary cells and in vivo. Quantitative proteomics for protein interactors of ATG16L1 identified previously unknown nonoverlapping sets of proteins involved in ATG16L1-dependent antibacterial autophagy or IL-1? production. These findings demonstrate how the T300A polymorphism leads to cell type- and pathway-specific disruptions of selective autophagy and suggest a mechanism by which this polymorphism contributes to disease.
Skyline is a Windows client application for targeted proteomics method creation and quantitative data analysis. The Skyline document model contains extensive mass spectrometry data from targeted proteomics experiments performed using selected reaction monitoring, parallel reaction monitoring and data-independent and data-dependent acquisition methods. Researchers have developed software tools that perform statistical analysis of the experimental data contained within Skyline documents. The new external tools framework allows researchers to integrate their tools into Skyline without modifying the Skyline codebase. Installed tools provide point-and-click access to downstream statistical analysis of data processed in Skyline. The framework also specifies a uniform interface to format tools for installation into Skyline. Tool developers can now easily share their tools with proteomics researchers using Skyline.
ABSTRACT The type VII secretion systems are conserved across mycobacterial species and in many Gram-positive bacteria. While the well-characterized Esx-1 pathway is required for the virulence of pathogenic mycobacteria and conjugation in the model organism Mycobacterium smegmatis, Esx-3 contributes to mycobactin-mediated iron acquisition in these bacteria. Here we show that several Esx-3 components are individually required for function under low-iron conditions but that at least one, the membrane-bound protease MycP3 of M. smegmatis, is partially expendable. All of the esx-3 mutants tested, including the ?mycP3ms mutant, failed to export the native Esx-3 substrates EsxHms and EsxGms to quantifiable levels, as determined by targeted mass spectrometry. Although we were able to restore low-iron growth to the esx-3 mutants by genetic complementation, we found a wide range of complementation levels for protein export. Indeed, minute quantities of extracellular EsxHms and EsxGms were sufficient for iron acquisition under our experimental conditions. The apparent separation of Esx-3 function in iron acquisition from robust EsxGms and EsxHms secretion in the ?mycP3ms mutant and in some of the complemented esx-3 mutants compels reexamination of the structure-function relationships for type VII secretion systems. IMPORTANCE Mycobacteria have several paralogous type VII secretion systems, Esx-1 through Esx-5. Whereas Esx-1 is required for pathogenic mycobacteria to grow within an infected host, Esx-3 is essential for growth in vitro. We and others have shown that Esx-3 is required for siderophore-mediated iron acquisition. In this work, we identify individual Esx-3 components that contribute to this process. As in the Esx-1 system, most mutations that abolish Esx-3 protein export also disrupt its function. Unexpectedly, however, ultrasensitive quantitation of Esx-3 secretion by multiple-reaction-monitoring mass spectrometry (MRM-MS) revealed that very low levels of export were sufficient for iron acquisition under similar conditions. Although protein export clearly contributes to type VII function, the relationship is not absolute.
Extensive genomic characterization of human cancers presents the problem of inference from genomic abnormalities to cancer phenotypes. To address this problem, we analysed proteomes of colon and rectal tumours characterized previously by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and perform integrated proteogenomic analyses. Somatic variants displayed reduced protein abundance compared to germline variants. Messenger RNA transcript abundance did not reliably predict protein abundance differences between tumours. Proteomics identified five proteomic subtypes in the TCGA cohort, two of which overlapped with the TCGA 'microsatellite instability/CpG island methylation phenotype' transcriptomic subtype, but had distinct mutation, methylation and protein expression patterns associated with different clinical outcomes. Although copy number alterations showed strong cis- and trans-effects on mRNA abundance, relatively few of these extend to the protein level. Thus, proteomics data enabled prioritization of candidate driver genes. The chromosome 20q amplicon was associated with the largest global changes at both mRNA and protein levels; proteomics data highlighted potential 20q candidates, including HNF4A (hepatocyte nuclear factor 4, alpha), TOMM34 (translocase of outer mitochondrial membrane 34) and SRC (SRC proto-oncogene, non-receptor tyrosine kinase). Integrated proteogenomic analysis provides functional context to interpret genomic abnormalities and affords a new paradigm for understanding cancer biology.
Protein abundance and phosphorylation convey important information about pathway activity and molecular pathophysiology in diseases including cancer, providing biological insight, informing drug and diagnostic development, and guiding therapeutic intervention. Analyzed tissues are usually collected without tight regulation or documentation of ischemic time. To evaluate the impact of ischemia, we collected human ovarian tumor and breast cancer xenograft tissue without vascular interruption and performed quantitative proteomics and phosphoproteomics after defined ischemic intervals. Although the global expressed proteome and most of the >25,000 quantified phosphosites were unchanged after 60 min, rapid phosphorylation changes were observed in up to 24% of the phosphoproteome, representing activation of critical cancer pathways related to stress response, transcriptional regulation, and cell death. Both pan-tumor and tissue-specific changes were observed. The demonstrated impact of pre-analytical tissue ischemia on tumor biology mandates caution in interpreting stress-pathway activation in such samples and motivates reexamination of collection protocols for phosphoprotein analysis.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a major component of tumors and a significant contributor to cancer progression. In this study, we use proteomics to investigate the ECM of human mammary carcinoma xenografts and show that primary tumors of differing metastatic potential differ in ECM composition. Both tumor cells and stromal cells contribute to the tumor matrix and tumors of differing metastatic ability differ in both tumor- and stroma-derived ECM components. We define ECM signatures of poorly and highly metastatic mammary carcinomas and these signatures reveal up-regulation of signaling pathways including TGF? and VEGF. We further demonstrate that several proteins characteristic of highly metastatic tumors (LTBP3, SNED1, EGLN1, and S100A2) play causal roles in metastasis, albeit at different steps. Finally we show that high expression of LTBP3 and SNED1 correlates with poor outcome for ER(-)/PR(-)breast cancer patients. This study thus identifies novel biomarkers that may serve as prognostic and diagnostic tools. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01308.001.
Colorectal cancer is the third most frequently diagnosed cancer and the third cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Despite the fact that tumor cell-intrinsic mechanisms controlling colorectal carcinogenesis have been identified, novel prognostic and diagnostic tools as well as novel therapeutic strategies are still needed to monitor and target colon cancer progression. We and others have previously shown, using mouse models, that the extracellular matrix (ECM), a major component of the tumor microenvironment, is an important contributor to tumor progression. In order to identify candidate biomarkers, we sought to define ECM signatures of metastatic colorectal cancers and their metastases to the liver.
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.
Liquid chromatography-multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (LC-MRM-MS) of plasma that has been depleted of abundant proteins and fractionated at the peptide level into six to eight fractions is a proven method for quantifying proteins present at low nanogram-per-milliliter levels. A drawback of fraction-MRM is the increased analysis time due to the generation of multiple fractions per biological sample. We now report that the use of heated, long, fused silica columns (>30 cm) packed with 1.9 ?m of packing material can reduce or eliminate the need for fractionation prior to LC-MRM-MS without a significant loss of sensitivity or precision relative to fraction-MRM. We empirically determined the optimal column length, temperature, gradient duration, and sample load for such assays and used these conditions to study detection sensitivity and assay precision. In addition to increased peak capacity, longer columns packed with smaller beads tolerated a 4- to 6-fold increase in analyte load without a loss of robustness or reproducibility. The longer columns also provided a 4-fold improvement in median limit-of-quantitation values with increased assay precision relative to the standard 12 cm columns packed with 3 ?m material. Overall, the optimized chromatography provided an approximately 3-fold increase in analysis throughput with excellent robustness and less than a 2-fold reduction in quantitative sensitivity relative to fraction-MRM. The value of the system for increased multiplexing was demonstrated by the ability to configure an 800-plex MRM-MS assay, run in a single analysis, comprising 2400 transitions with retention time scheduling to monitor 400 unlabeled and heavy labeled peptide pairs.
N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is a common modification of mRNA with potential roles in fine-tuning the RNA life cycle. Here, we identify a dense network of proteins interacting with METTL3, a component of the methyltransferase complex, and show that three of them (WTAP, METTL14, and KIAA1429) are required for methylation. Monitoring m6A levels upon WTAP depletion allowed the definition of accurate and near single-nucleotide resolution methylation maps and their classification into WTAP-dependent and -independent sites. WTAP-dependent sites are located at internal positions in transcripts, topologically static across a variety of systems we surveyed, and inversely correlated with mRNA stability, consistent with a role in establishing "basal" degradation rates. WTAP-independent sites form at the first transcribed base as part of the cap structure and are present at thousands of sites, forming a previously unappreciated layer of transcriptome complexity. Our data shed light on the proteomic and transcriptional underpinnings of this RNA modification.
Adoption of targeted mass spectrometry (MS) approaches such as multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) to study biological and biomedical questions is well underway in the proteomics community. Successful application depends on the ability to generate reliable assays that uniquely and confidently identify target peptides in a sample. Unfortunately, there is a wide range of criteria being applied to say that an assay has been successfully developed. There is no consensus on what criteria are acceptable and little understanding of the impact of variable criteria on the quality of the results generated. Publications describing targeted MS assays for peptides frequently do not contain sufficient information for readers to establish confidence that the tests work as intended or to be able to apply the tests described in their own labs. Guidance must be developed so that targeted MS assays with established performance can be made widely distributed and applied by many labs worldwide. To begin to address the problems and their solutions, a workshop was held at the National Institutes of Health with representatives from the multiple communities developing and employing targeted MS assays. Participants discussed the analytical goals of their experiments and the experimental evidence needed to establish that the assays they develop work as intended and are achieving the required levels of performance. Using this "fit-for-purpose" approach, the group defined three tiers of assays distinguished by their performance and extent of analytical characterization. Computational and statistical tools useful for the analysis of targeted MS results were described. Participants also detailed the information that authors need to provide in their manuscripts to enable reviewers and readers to clearly understand what procedures were performed and to evaluate the reliability of the peptide or protein quantification measurements reported. This paper presents a summary of the meeting and recommendations.
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.
Protein biomarkers are needed to deepen our understanding of cancer biology and to improve our ability to diagnose, monitor, and treat cancers. Important analytical and clinical hurdles must be overcome to allow the most promising protein biomarker candidates to advance into clinical validation studies. Although contemporary proteomics technologies support the measurement of large numbers of proteins in individual clinical specimens, sample throughput remains comparatively low. This problem is amplified in typical clinical proteomics research studies, which routinely suffer from a lack of proper experimental design, resulting in analysis of too few biospecimens to achieve adequate statistical power at each stage of a biomarker pipeline. To address this critical shortcoming, a joint workshop was held by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) with participation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). An important output from the workshop was a statistical framework for the design of biomarker discovery and verification studies. Herein, we describe the use of quantitative clinical judgments to set statistical criteria for clinical relevance and the development of an approach to calculate biospecimen sample size for proteomic studies in discovery and verification stages prior to clinical validation stage. This represents a first step toward building a consensus on quantitative criteria for statistical design of proteomics biomarker discovery and verification research.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium is applying the latest generation of proteomic technologies to genomically annotated tumors from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) program, a joint initiative of the NCI and the National Human Genome Research Institute. By providing a fully integrated accounting of DNA, RNA, and protein abnormalities in individual tumors, these datasets will illuminate the complex relationship between genomic abnormalities and cancer phenotypes, thus producing biologic insights as well as a wave of novel candidate biomarkers and therapeutic targets amenable to verification using targeted mass spectrometry methods.
N(6)-methyladenosine (m(6)A) is the most ubiquitous mRNA base modification, but little is known about its precise location, temporal dynamics, and regulation. Here, we generated genomic maps of m(6)A sites in meiotic yeast transcripts at nearly single-nucleotide resolution, identifying 1,308 putatively methylated sites within 1,183 transcripts. We validated eight out of eight methylation sites in different genes with direct genetic analysis, demonstrated that methylated sites are significantly conserved in a related species, and built a model that predicts methylated sites directly from sequence. Sites vary in their methylation profiles along a dense meiotic time course and are regulated both locally, via predictable methylatability of each site, and globally, through the core meiotic circuitry. The methyltransferase complex components localize to the yeast nucleolus, and this localization is essential for mRNA methylation. Our data illuminate a conserved, dynamically regulated methylation program in yeast meiosis and provide an important resource for studying the function of this epitranscriptomic modification.
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.
Multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mass spectrometry coupled with stable isotope dilution (SID) and liquid chromatography (LC) is increasingly used in biological and clinical studies for precise and reproducible quantification of peptides and proteins in complex sample matrices. Robust LC-SID-MRM-MS-based assays that can be replicated across laboratories and ultimately in clinical laboratory settings require standardized protocols to demonstrate that the analysis platforms are performing adequately. We developed a system suitability protocol (SSP), which employs a predigested mixture of six proteins, to facilitate performance evaluation of LC-SID-MRM-MS instrument platforms, configured with nanoflow-LC systems interfaced to triple quadrupole mass spectrometers. The SSP was designed for use with low multiplex analyses as well as high multiplex approaches when software-driven scheduling of data acquisition is required. Performance was assessed by monitoring of a range of chromatographic and mass spectrometric metrics including peak width, chromatographic resolution, peak capacity, and the variability in peak area and analyte retention time (RT) stability. The SSP, which was evaluated in 11 laboratories on a total of 15 different instruments, enabled early diagnoses of LC and MS anomalies that indicated suboptimal LC-MRM-MS performance. The observed range in variation of each of the metrics scrutinized serves to define the criteria for optimized LC-SID-MRM-MS platforms for routine use, with pass/fail criteria for system suitability performance measures defined as peak area coefficient of variation <0.15, peak width coefficient of variation <0.15, standard deviation of RT <0.15 min (9 s), and the RT drift <0.5min (30 s). The deleterious effect of a marginally performing LC-SID-MRM-MS system on the limit of quantification (LOQ) in targeted quantitative assays illustrates the use and need for a SSP to establish robust and reliable system performance. Use of a SSP helps to ensure that analyte quantification measurements can be replicated with good precision within and across multiple laboratories and should facilitate more widespread use of MRM-MS technology by the basic biomedical and clinical laboratory research communities.
Multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mass spectrometry has been successfully applied to monitor targeted proteins in biological specimens, raising the possibility that assays could be configured to measure all human proteins. We report the results of a pilot study designed to test the feasibility of a large-scale, international effort for MRM assay generation. We have configured, validated across three laboratories and made publicly available as a resource to the community 645 novel MRM assays representing 319 proteins expressed in human breast cancer. Assays were multiplexed in groups of >150 peptides and deployed to quantify endogenous analytes in a panel of breast cancer-related cell lines. The median assay precision was 5.4%, with high interlaboratory correlation (R(2) > 0.96). Peptide measurements in breast cancer cell lines were able to discriminate among molecular subtypes and identify genome-driven changes in the cancer proteome. These results establish the feasibility of a large-scale effort to develop an MRM assay resource.
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.
Targeted mass spectrometry (MS) is becoming widely used in academia and in pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries for sensitive and quantitative detection of proteins, peptides and post-translational modifications. Here we describe the increasing importance of targeted MS technologies in clinical proteomics and the potential key roles these techniques will have in bridging biomedical discovery and clinical implementation.
Epigenetic dysregulation is an emerging hallmark of cancers. We developed a high-information-content mass spectrometry approach to profile global histone modifications in human cancers. When applied to 115 lines from the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia, this approach identified distinct molecular chromatin signatures. One signature was characterized by increased histone 3 lysine 36 (H3K36) dimethylation, exhibited by several lines harboring translocations in NSD2, which encodes a methyltransferase. A previously unknown NSD2 p.Glu1099Lys (p.E1099K) variant was identified in nontranslocated acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cell lines sharing this signature. Ectopic expression of the variant induced a chromatin signature characteristic of NSD2 hyperactivation and promoted transformation. NSD2 knockdown selectively inhibited the proliferation of NSD2-mutant lines and impaired the in vivo growth of an NSD2-mutant ALL xenograft. Sequencing analysis of >1,000 pediatric cancer genomes identified the NSD2 p.E1099K alteration in 14% of t(12;21) ETV6-RUNX1-containing ALLs. These findings identify NSD2 as a potential therapeutic target for pediatric ALL and provide a general framework for the functional annotation of cancer epigenomes.
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.
Mitochondria are centers of metabolism and signaling whose content and function must adapt to changing cellular environments. The biological signals that initiate mitochondrial restructuring and the cellular processes that drive this adaptive response are largely obscure. To better define these systems, we performed matched quantitative genomic and proteomic analyses of mouse muscle cells as they performed mitochondrial biogenesis. We find that proteins involved in cellular iron homeostasis are highly coordinated with this process and that depletion of cellular iron results in a rapid, dose-dependent decrease of select mitochondrial protein levels and oxidative capacity. We further show that this process is universal across a broad range of cell types and fully reversed when iron is reintroduced. Collectively, our work reveals that cellular iron is a key regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis, and provides quantitative data sets that can be leveraged to explore posttranscriptional and posttranslational processes that are essential for mitochondrial adaptation.
Control of human African sleeping sickness, caused by subspecies of the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei, is based on preventing transmission by elimination of the tsetse vector and by active diagnostic screening and treatment of infected patients. To identify trypanosome proteins that have potential as biomarkers for detection and monitoring of African sleeping sickness, we have used a deep-mining" proteomics approach to identify trypanosome proteins in human plasma. Abundant human plasma proteins were removed by immunodepletion. Depleted plasma samples were then digested to peptides with trypsin, fractionated by basic reversed phase and each fraction analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). This sample processing and analysis method enabled identification of low levels of trypanosome proteins in pooled plasma from late stage sleeping sickness patients infected with Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense. A total of 254 trypanosome proteins were confidently identified. Many of the parasite proteins identified were of unknown function, although metabolic enzymes, chaperones, proteases and ubiquitin-related/acting proteins were found. This approach to the identification of conserved, soluble trypanosome proteins in human plasma offers a possible route to improved disease diagnosis and monitoring, since these molecules are potential biomarkers for the development of a new generation of antigen-detection assays. The combined immuno-depletion/mass spectrometric approach can be applied to a variety of infectious diseases for unbiased biomarker identification.
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 inability to quantify large numbers of proteins in tissues and biofluids with high precision, sensitivity, and throughput is a major bottleneck in biomarker studies. We previously demonstrated that coupling immunoaffinity enrichment using anti-peptide antibodies (SISCAPA) to multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (MRM-MS) produces Immunoprecipitation MRM-MS (immuno-MRM-MS) assays that can be multiplexed to quantify proteins in plasma with high sensitivity, specificity, and precision. Here we report the first systematic evaluation of the interlaboratory performance of multiplexed (8-plex) immuno-MRM-MS in three independent labs. A staged study was carried out in which the effect of each processing and analysis step on assay coefficient of variance, limit of detection, limit of quantification, and recovery was evaluated. Limits of detection were at or below 1 ng/ml for the assayed proteins in 30 ?l of plasma. Assay reproducibility was acceptable for verification studies, with median intra- and interlaboratory coefficients of variance above the limit of quantification of 11% and <14%, respectively, for the entire immuno-MRM-MS assay process, including enzymatic digestion of plasma. Trypsin digestion and its requisite sample handling contributed the most to assay variability and reduced the recovery of target peptides from digested proteins. Using a stable isotope-labeled protein as an internal standard instead of stable isotope-labeled peptides to account for losses in the digestion process nearly doubled assay accuracy for this while improving assay precision 5%. Our results demonstrate that multiplexed immuno-MRM-MS can be made reproducible across independent laboratories and has the potential to be adopted widely for assaying proteins in matrices as complex as plasma.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a complex meshwork of cross-linked proteins providing both biophysical and biochemical cues that are important regulators of cell proliferation, survival, differentiation, and migration. We present here a proteomic strategy developed to characterize the in vivo ECM composition of normal tissues and tumors using enrichment of protein extracts for ECM components and subsequent analysis by mass spectrometry. In parallel, we have developed a bioinformatic approach to predict the in silico "matrisome" defined as the ensemble of ECM proteins and associated factors. We report the characterization of the extracellular matrices of murine lung and colon, each comprising more than 100 ECM proteins and each presenting a characteristic signature. Moreover, using human tumor xenografts in mice, we show that both tumor cells and stromal cells contribute to the production of the tumor matrix and that tumors of differing metastatic potential differ in both the tumor- and the stroma-derived ECM components. The strategy we describe and illustrate here can be broadly applied and, to facilitate application of these methods by others, we provide resources including laboratory protocols, inventories of ECM domains and proteins, and instructions for bioinformatically deriving the human and mouse matrisome.
There is a great need for quantitative assays in measuring proteins. Traditional sandwich immunoassays, largely considered the gold standard in quantitation, are associated with a high cost, long lead time, and are fraught with drawbacks (e.g. heterophilic antibodies, autoantibody interference, hook-effect).(1) An alternative technique is affinity enrichment of peptides coupled with quantitative mass spectrometry, commonly referred to as SISCAPA (Stable Isotope Standards and Capture by Anti-Peptide Antibodies).(2) In this technique, affinity enrichment of peptides with stable isotope dilution and detection by selected/multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (SRM/MRM-MS) provides quantitative measurement of peptides as surrogates for their respective proteins. SRM/MRM-MS is well established for accurate quantitation of small molecules (3, 4) and more recently has been adapted to measure the concentrations of proteins in plasma and cell lysates.(5-7) To achieve quantitation of proteins, these larger molecules are digested to component peptides using an enzyme such as trypsin. One or more selected peptides whose sequence is unique to the target protein in that species (i.e. "proteotypic" peptides) are then enriched from the sample using anti-peptide antibodies and measured as quantitative stoichiometric surrogates for protein concentration in the sample. Hence, coupled to stable isotope dilution (SID) methods (i.e. a spiked-in stable isotope labeled peptide standard), SRM/MRM can be used to measure concentrations of proteotypic peptides as surrogates for quantification of proteins in complex biological matrices. The assays have several advantages compared to traditional immunoassays. The reagents are relatively less expensive to generate, the specificity for the analyte is excellent, the assays can be highly multiplexed, enrichment can be performed from neat plasma (no depletion required), and the technique is amenable to a wide array of proteins or modifications of interest.(8-13) In this video we demonstrate the basic protocol as adapted to a magnetic bead platform.
Despite unmet needs for cardiovascular biomarkers, few new protein markers have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the diagnosis or screening of cardiovascular diseases. Mass spectrometry-based proteomics technologies are capable of identifying hundreds to thousands of proteins in cells, tissues, and biofluids. Proteomics may therefore provide the opportunity to elucidate new biomarkers and pathways without a prior known association with cardiovascular disease; however, important obstacles remain. In this review, we focus on emerging techniques that may form a coherently integrated pipeline to overcome present limitations to both the discovery and validation processes.
The HDL receptor, scavenger receptor, class B, type I (SR-BI), is a homooligomeric cell surface glycoprotein that controls HDL structure and metabolism by mediating the cellular selective uptake of lipids, mainly cholesteryl esters, from HDL. The mechanism underlying SR-BI-mediated lipid transfer, which differs from classic receptor-mediated endocytosis, involves a two-step process (binding followed by lipid transport) that is poorly understood. Our previous structure/activity analysis of the small-molecule inhibitor blocker of lipid transport 1 (BLT-1), which potently (IC(50) ? 50 nM) blocks SR-BI-mediated lipid transport, established that the sulfur in BLT-1s thiosemicarbazone moiety was essential for activity. Here we show that BLT-1 is an irreversible inhibitor of SR-BI, raising the possibility that cysteine(s) in SR-BI interact with BLT-1. Mass spectrometric analysis of purified SR-BI showed two of its six exoplasmic cysteines have free thiol groups (Cys251 and Cys384). Converting Cys384 (but not Cys251) to serine resulted in complete BLT-1 insensitivity, establishing that the unique molecular target of BLT-1 inhibition of cellular SR-BI dependent lipid transport is SR-BI itself. The C384S substitution reduced the receptors intrinsic lipid uptake activity by approximately 60% without dramatically altering its surface expression, homooligomerization, or HDL binding. Thus, a small-molecule screening approach identified a key residue in SR-BI involved in lipid transport, providing a powerful springboard into the analyses of the structure and mechanism of SR-BI, and highlighting the power of this approach for such analyses.
Memory formation is modulated by pre- and post-synaptic signaling events in neurons. The neuronal protein kinase Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 5 (Cdk5) phosphorylates a variety of synaptic substrates and is implicated in memory formation. It has also been shown to play a role in homeostatic regulation of synaptic plasticity in cultured neurons. Surprisingly, we found that Cdk5 loss of function in hippocampal circuits results in severe impairments in memory formation and retrieval. Moreover, Cdk5 loss of function in the hippocampus disrupts cAMP signaling due to an aberrant increase in phosphodiesterase (PDE) proteins. Dysregulation of cAMP is associated with defective CREB phosphorylation and disrupted composition of synaptic proteins in Cdk5-deficient mice. Rolipram, a PDE4 inhibitor that prevents cAMP depletion, restores synaptic plasticity and memory formation in Cdk5-deficient mice. Collectively, our results demonstrate a critical role for Cdk5 in the regulation of cAMP-mediated hippocampal functions essential for synaptic plasticity and memory formation.
We developed a pipeline to integrate the proteomic technologies used from the discovery to the verification stages of plasma biomarker identification and applied it to identify early biomarkers of cardiac injury from the blood of patients undergoing a therapeutic, planned myocardial infarction (PMI) for treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Sampling of blood directly from patient hearts before, during and after controlled myocardial injury ensured enrichment for candidate biomarkers and allowed patients to serve as their own biological controls. LC-MS/MS analyses detected 121 highly differentially expressed proteins, including previously credentialed markers of cardiovascular disease and >100 novel candidate biomarkers for myocardial infarction (MI). Accurate inclusion mass screening (AIMS) qualified a subset of the candidates based on highly specific, targeted detection in peripheral plasma, including some markers unlikely to have been identified without this step. Analyses of peripheral plasma from controls and patients with PMI or spontaneous MI by quantitative multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry or immunoassays suggest that the candidate biomarkers may be specific to MI. This study demonstrates that modern proteomic technologies, when coherently integrated, can yield novel cardiovascular biomarkers meriting further evaluation in large, heterogeneous cohorts.
Malignant transformation, driven by gain-of-function mutations in oncogenes and loss-of-function mutations in tumour suppressor genes, results in cell deregulation that is frequently associated with enhanced cellular stress (for example, oxidative, replicative, metabolic and proteotoxic stress, and DNA damage). Adaptation to this stress phenotype is required for cancer cells to survive, and consequently cancer cells may become dependent upon non-oncogenes that do not ordinarily perform such a vital function in normal cells. Thus, targeting these non-oncogene dependencies in the context of a transformed genotype may result in a synthetic lethal interaction and the selective death of cancer cells. Here we used a cell-based small-molecule screening and quantitative proteomics approach that resulted in the unbiased identification of a small molecule that selectively kills cancer cells but not normal cells. Piperlongumine increases the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and apoptotic cell death in both cancer cells and normal cells engineered to have a cancer genotype, irrespective of p53 status, but it has little effect on either rapidly or slowly dividing primary normal cells. Significant antitumour effects are observed in piperlongumine-treated mouse xenograft tumour models, with no apparent toxicity in normal mice. Moreover, piperlongumine potently inhibits the growth of spontaneously formed malignant breast tumours and their associated metastases in mice. Our results demonstrate the ability of a small molecule to induce apoptosis selectively in cells that have a cancer genotype, by targeting a non-oncogene co-dependency acquired through the expression of the cancer genotype in response to transformation-induced oxidative stress.
The metazoan mitochondrial translation machinery is unusual in having a single tRNA(Met) that fulfills the dual role of the initiator and elongator tRNA(Met). A portion of the Met-tRNA(Met) pool is formylated by mitochondrial methionyl-tRNA formyltransferase (MTFMT) to generate N-formylmethionine-tRNA(Met) (fMet-tRNA(met)), which is used for translation initiation; however, the requirement of formylation for initiation in human mitochondria is still under debate. Using targeted sequencing of the mtDNA and nuclear exons encoding the mitochondrial proteome (MitoExome), we identified compound heterozygous mutations in MTFMT in two unrelated children presenting with Leigh syndrome and combined OXPHOS deficiency. Patient fibroblasts exhibit severe defects in mitochondrial translation that can be rescued by exogenous expression of MTFMT. Furthermore, patient fibroblasts have dramatically reduced fMet-tRNA(Met) levels and an abnormal formylation profile of mitochondrially translated COX1. Our findings demonstrate that MTFMT is critical for efficient human mitochondrial translation and reveal a human disorder of Met-tRNA(Met) formylation.
Deciphering the signaling networks that underlie normal and disease processes remains a major challenge. Here, we report the discovery of signaling components involved in the Toll-like receptor (TLR) response of immune dendritic cells (DCs), including a previously unkown pathway shared across mammalian antiviral responses. By combining transcriptional profiling, genetic and small-molecule perturbations, and phosphoproteomics, we uncover 35 signaling regulators, including 16 known regulators, involved in TLR signaling. In particular, we find that Polo-like kinases (Plk) 2 and 4 are essential components of antiviral pathways in vitro and in vivo and activate a signaling branch involving a dozen proteins, among which is Tnfaip2, a gene associated with autoimmune diseases but whose role was unknown. Our study illustrates the power of combining systematic measurements and perturbations to elucidate complex signaling circuits and discover potential therapeutic targets.
Target identification remains challenging for the field of chemical biology. We describe an integrative chemical genomic and proteomic approach combining the use of differentially active analogs of small molecule probes with stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture-mediated affinity enrichment, followed by subsequent testing of candidate targets using RNA interference-mediated gene silencing. We applied this approach to characterizing the natural product K252a and its ability to potentiate neuregulin-1 (Nrg1)/ErbB4 (v-erb-a erythroblastic leukemia viral oncogene homolog 4)-dependent neurotrophic factor signaling and neuritogenesis. We show that AAK1 (adaptor-associated kinase 1) is a relevant target of K252a, and that the loss of AAK1 alters ErbB4 trafficking and expression levels, providing evidence for a previously unrecognized role for AAK1 in Nrg1-mediated neurotrophic factor signaling. Similar strategies should lead to the discovery of novel targets for therapeutic development.
Dyslipidemia is an independent risk factor for type 2 diabetes, although exactly which of the many plasma lipids contribute to this remains unclear. We therefore investigated whether lipid profiling can inform diabetes prediction by performing liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry-based lipid profiling in 189 individuals who developed type 2 diabetes and 189 matched disease-free individuals, with over 12 years of follow up in the Framingham Heart Study. We found that lipids of lower carbon number and double bond content were associated with an increased risk of diabetes, whereas lipids of higher carbon number and double bond content were associated with decreased risk. This pattern was strongest for triacylglycerols (TAGs) and persisted after multivariable adjustment for age, sex, BMI, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, total triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol. A combination of 2 TAGs further improved diabetes prediction. To explore potential mechanisms that modulate the distribution of plasma lipids, we performed lipid profiling during oral glucose tolerance testing, pharmacologic interventions, and acute exercise testing. Levels of TAGs associated with increased risk for diabetes decreased in response to insulin action and were elevated in the setting of insulin resistance. Conversely, levels of TAGs associated with decreased diabetes risk rose in response to insulin and were poorly correlated with insulin resistance. These studies identify a relationship between lipid acyl chain content and diabetes risk and demonstrate how lipid profiling could aid in clinical risk assessment.
Stable isotope standards and capture by antipeptide antibodies (SISCAPA) couples affinity enrichment of peptides with stable isotope dilution and detection by multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry to provide quantitative measurement of peptides as surrogates for their respective proteins. In this report, we describe a feasibility study to determine the success rate for production of suitable antibodies for SISCAPA assays in order to inform strategies for large-scale assay development. A workflow was designed that included a multiplex immunization strategy in which up to five proteotypic peptides from a single protein target were used to immunize individual rabbits. A total of 403 proteotypic tryptic peptides representing 89 protein targets were used as immunogens. Antipeptide antibody titers were measured by ELISA and 220 antipeptide antibodies representing 89 proteins were chosen for affinity purification. These antibodies were characterized with respect to their performance in SISCAPA-multiple reaction monitoring assays using trypsin-digested human plasma matrix. More than half of the assays generated were capable of detecting the target peptide at concentrations of less than 0.5 fmol/?l in human plasma, corresponding to protein concentrations of less than 100 ng/ml. The strategy of multiplexing five peptide immunogens was successful in generating a working assay for 100% of the targeted proteins in this evaluation study. These results indicate it is feasible for a single laboratory to develop hundreds of assays per year and allow planning for cost-effective generation of SISCAPA assays.
Mass spectrometry is an indispensable tool for peptide and protein analysis owing to its speed, sensitivity, and versatility. It can be used to determine amino acid sequences of peptides, and to characterize a wide variety of post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation and glycosylation. Mass spectrometry can also be used to determine absolute and relative protein quantities, and can identify and quantify thousands of proteins from complex samples, which makes it an extremely powerful tool for systems biology studies. The main goals of this unit are to familiarize peptide and protein chemists and biologists with the types of mass spectrometers that are appropriate for the majority of their analytical needs, to describe the kinds of experiments that can be performed with these instruments on a routine basis, and to discuss the kinds of information that these experiments provide.
Proteomics experiments based on Selected Reaction Monitoring (SRM, also referred to as Multiple Reaction Monitoring or MRM) are being used to target large numbers of protein candidates in complex mixtures. At present, instrument parameters are often optimized for each peptide, a time and resource intensive process. Large SRM experiments are greatly facilitated by having the ability to predict MS instrument parameters that work well with the broad diversity of peptides they target. For this reason, we investigated the impact of using simple linear equations to predict the collision energy (CE) on peptide signal intensity and compared it with the empirical optimization of the CE for each peptide and transition individually. Using optimized linear equations, the difference between predicted and empirically derived CE values was found to be an average gain of only 7.8% of total peak area. We also found that existing commonly used linear equations fall short of their potential, and should be recalculated for each charge state and when introducing new instrument platforms. We provide a fully automated pipeline for calculating these equations and individually optimizing CE of each transition on SRM instruments from Agilent, Applied Biosystems, Thermo-Scientific and Waters in the open source Skyline software tool ( http://proteome.gs.washington.edu/software/skyline ).
The worldwide burden of sickle cell disease is enormous, with over 200,000 infants born with the disease each year in Africa alone. Induction of fetal hemoglobin is a validated strategy to improve symptoms and complications of this disease. The development of targeted therapies has been limited by the absence of discrete druggable targets. We developed a unique bead-based strategy for the identification of inducers of fetal hemoglobin transcripts in primary human erythroid cells. A small-molecule screen of bioactive compounds identified remarkable class-associated activity among histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors. Using a chemical genetic strategy combining focused libraries of biased chemical probes and reverse genetics by RNA interference, we have identified HDAC1 and HDAC2 as molecular targets mediating fetal hemoglobin induction. Our findings suggest the potential of isoform-selective inhibitors of HDAC1 and HDAC2 for the treatment of sickle cell disease.
Exercise provides numerous salutary effects, but our understanding of how these occur is limited. To gain a clearer picture of exercise-induced metabolic responses, we have developed comprehensive plasma metabolite signatures by using mass spectrometry to measure >200 metabolites before and after exercise. We identified plasma indicators of glycogenolysis (glucose-6-phosphate), tricarboxylic acid cycle span 2 expansion (succinate, malate, and fumarate), and lipolysis (glycerol), as well as modulators of insulin sensitivity (niacinamide) and fatty acid oxidation (pantothenic acid). Metabolites that were highly correlated with fitness parameters were found in subjects undergoing acute exercise testing and marathon running and in 302 subjects from a longitudinal cohort study. Exercise-induced increases in glycerol were strongly related to fitness levels in normal individuals and were attenuated in subjects with myocardial ischemia. A combination of metabolites that increased in plasma in response to exercise (glycerol, niacinamide, glucose-6-phosphate, pantothenate, and succinate) up-regulated the expression of nur77, a transcriptional regulator of glucose utilization and lipid metabolism genes in skeletal muscle in vitro. Plasma metabolic profiles obtained during exercise provide signatures of exercise performance and cardiovascular disease susceptibility, in addition to highlighting molecular pathways that may modulate the salutary effects of exercise.
In animal cells, growth factors coordinate cell proliferation and survival by regulating the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway. Deregulation of this signaling pathway is common in a variety of human cancers. The PI3K-dependent signaling kinase complex defined as mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) functions as a regulatory Ser-473 kinase of Akt. We find that activation of mTORC2 by growth factor signaling is linked to the specific phosphorylation of its component rictor on Thr-1135. The phosphorylation of this site is induced by the growth factor stimulation and expression of the oncogenic forms of ras or PI3K. Rictor phosphorylation is sensitive to the inhibition of PI3K, mTOR, or expression of integrin-linked kinase. The substitution of wild-type rictor with its specific phospho-mutants in rictor null mouse embryonic fibroblasts did not alter the growth factor-dependent phosphorylation of Akt, indicating that the rictor Thr-1135 phosphorylation is not critical in the regulation of the mTORC2 kinase activity. We found that this rictor phosphorylation takes place in the mTORC2-deficient cells, suggesting that this modification might play a role in the regulation of not only mTORC2 but also the mTORC2-independent function of rictor.
Following genotoxic stress, cells activate a complex kinase-based signaling network to arrest the cell cycle and initiate DNA repair. p53-defective tumor cells rewire their checkpoint response and become dependent on the p38/MK2 pathway for survival after DNA damage, despite a functional ATR-Chk1 pathway. We used functional genetics to dissect the contributions of Chk1 and MK2 to checkpoint control. We show that nuclear Chk1 activity is essential to establish a G(2)/M checkpoint, while cytoplasmic MK2 activity is critical for prolonged checkpoint maintenance through a process of posttranscriptional mRNA stabilization. Following DNA damage, the p38/MK2 complex relocalizes from nucleus to cytoplasm where MK2 phosphorylates hnRNPA0, to stabilize Gadd45? mRNA, while p38 phosphorylates and releases the translational inhibitor TIAR. In addition, MK2 phosphorylates PARN, blocking Gadd45? mRNA degradation. Gadd45? functions within a positive feedback loop, sustaining the MK2-dependent cytoplasmic sequestration of Cdc25B/C to block mitotic entry in the presence of unrepaired DNA damage. Our findings demonstrate a critical role for the MK2 pathway in the posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression as part of the DNA damage response in cancer cells.
Selective capture of glycopolypeptides followed by release and analysis of the former glycosylation-site peptides has been shown to have promise for reducing the complexity of body fluids such as blood for biomarker discovery. In this work, a protocol based on capture of polypeptides containing a N-linked carbohydrate from human plasma using commercially available magnetic beads coupled with hydrazide chemistry was optimized and partially automated through the use of a KingFisher magnetic particle processor. Comparison of bead-based glycocapture at the protein-level vs the peptide-level revealed differences in the specificity, reproducibility, and absolute number of former glycosylation-site peptides detected. Evaluation of a range of capture and elution conditions led to an optimized protocol with a 24% intraday and 30% interday CV and a glycopeptide capture specificity of 99%. Depleting the plasma of 14 high abundance proteins improved detection sensitivity by approximately 1 order of magnitude compared to nondepleted plasma and resulted in an increase of 24% in the number of identified glycoproteins. The sensitivity of SPEG for detection of glycoproteins in depleted, non-fractionated plasma was found to be in the 10-100 pmol/mL range corresponding to glycoprotein levels ranging from 100s of nanograms/mL to 10s of micrograms/mL. Despite high capture specificity, the total number of glycoproteins detected and the sensitivity of SPEG in plasma is surprisingly limited.
Objective This study aimed to examine the overall and specific relationship between early maladaptive schemas (EMSs) and personality disorder (PD) symptoms in a non-clinical sample. Design While a notable previous study has examined the relationship between EMSs and PD symptoms after statistically controlling for gender and within-cluster PD symptoms, they did not control for comorbid axis I and inter-cluster PD symptoms. Hence, we redressed this methodological problem by statistically controlling for these conditions in a series of multiple regressions. Methods In a sample of 178 non-clinical participants, we obtained self-reports of PD symptoms, depression, anxiety, eating disorder, and EMSs. Results Results of a series of multiple regressions found that EMSs significantly predicted all PD symptoms apart from borderline and antisocial PDs and our hypotheses were largely consistent with hypotheses for cluster A and C PDs. We also found that specific EMSs differentially predicted PD subtypes even after controlling for other PD symptoms, depression, anxiety, and eating disorder symptoms. Conclusion This study supports the contention that PDs are related to EMSs and there are specific relationships between particular EMSs and particular PDs.
DNA damage checkpoints arrest cell cycle progression to facilitate DNA repair. The ability to survive genotoxic insults depends not only on the initiation of cell cycle checkpoints but also on checkpoint maintenance. While activation of DNA damage checkpoints has been studied extensively, molecular mechanisms involved in sustaining and ultimately inactivating cell cycle checkpoints are largely unknown. Here, we explored feedback mechanisms that control the maintenance and termination of checkpoint function by computationally identifying an evolutionary conserved mitotic phosphorylation network within the DNA damage response. We demonstrate that the non-enzymatic checkpoint adaptor protein 53BP1 is an in vivo target of the cell cycle kinases Cyclin-dependent kinase-1 and Polo-like kinase-1 (Plk1). We show that Plk1 binds 53BP1 during mitosis and that this interaction is required for proper inactivation of the DNA damage checkpoint. 53BP1 mutants that are unable to bind Plk1 fail to restart the cell cycle after ionizing radiation-mediated cell cycle arrest. Importantly, we show that Plk1 also phosphorylates the 53BP1-binding checkpoint kinase Chk2 to inactivate its FHA domain and inhibit its kinase activity in mammalian cells. Thus, a mitotic kinase-mediated negative feedback loop regulates the ATM-Chk2 branch of the DNA damage signaling network by phosphorylating conserved sites in 53BP1 and Chk2 to inactivate checkpoint signaling and control checkpoint duration.
Given the mounting evidence in favor of early pharmacologic and catheter-based interventions for patients across the spectrum of acute coronary syndromes, discovering novel diagnostically sensitive and specific biomarkers that provide biochemical proof of early or reversible myocardial injury could have a substantial positive impact on patient care.
Multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (MRM-MS) of peptides with stable isotope-labeled internal standards (SISs) is increasingly being used to develop quantitative assays for proteins in complex biological matrices. These assays can be highly precise and quantitative, but the frequent occurrence of interferences requires that MRM-MS data be manually reviewed, a time-intensive process subject to human error. We developed an algorithm that identifies inaccurate transition data based on the presence of interfering signal or inconsistent recovery among replicate samples.
Clinical proteomics has the potential to enable the early detection of cancer through the development of multiplex assays that can inform clinical decisions. However, there has been some uncertainty among translational researchers and developers as to the specific analytical measurement criteria needed to validate protein-based multiplex assays. To begin to address the causes of this uncertainty, a day-long workshop titled "Interagency Oncology Task Force Molecular Diagnostics Workshop" was held in which members of the proteomics and regulatory communities discussed many of the analytical evaluation issues that the field should address in development of protein-based multiplex assays for clinical use. This meeting report explores the issues raised at the workshop and details the recommendations that came out of the days discussions, such as a workshop summary discussing the analytical evaluation issues that specific proteomic technologies should address when seeking US Food and Drug Administration approval.
As a part of ongoing efforts of the NCI-FDA Interagency Oncology Task Force subcommittee on molecular diagnostics, members of the Clinical Proteomic Technology Assessment for Cancer program of the National Cancer Institute have submitted 2 protein-based multiplex assay descriptions to the Office of In Vitro Diagnostic Device Evaluation and Safety, US Food and Drug Administration. The objective was to evaluate the analytical measurement criteria and studies needed to validate protein-based multiplex assays. Each submission described a different protein-based platform: a multiplex immunoaffinity mass spectrometry platform for protein quantification, and an immunological array platform quantifying glycoprotein isoforms. Submissions provided a mutually beneficial way for members of the proteomics and regulatory communities to identify the analytical issues that the field should address when developing protein-based multiplex clinical assays.
Optimal performance of LC-MS/MS platforms is critical to generating high quality proteomics data. Although individual laboratories have developed quality control samples, there is no widely available performance standard of biological complexity (and associated reference data sets) for benchmarking of platform performance for analysis of complex biological proteomes across different laboratories in the community. Individual preparations of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae proteome have been used extensively by laboratories in the proteomics community to characterize LC-MS platform performance. The yeast proteome is uniquely attractive as a performance standard because it is the most extensively characterized complex biological proteome and the only one associated with several large scale studies estimating the abundance of all detectable proteins. In this study, we describe a standard operating protocol for large scale production of the yeast performance standard and offer aliquots to the community through the National Institute of Standards and Technology where the yeast proteome is under development as a certified reference material to meet the long term needs of the community. Using a series of metrics that characterize LC-MS performance, we provide a reference data set demonstrating typical performance of commonly used ion trap instrument platforms in expert laboratories; the results provide a basis for laboratories to benchmark their own performance, to improve upon current methods, and to evaluate new technologies. Additionally, we demonstrate how the yeast reference, spiked with human proteins, can be used to benchmark the power of proteomics platforms for detection of differentially expressed proteins at different levels of concentration in a complex matrix, thereby providing a metric to evaluate and minimize pre-analytical and analytical variation in comparative proteomics experiments.
A major unmet need in LC-MS/MS-based proteomics analyses is a set of tools for quantitative assessment of system performance and evaluation of technical variability. Here we describe 46 system performance metrics for monitoring chromatographic performance, electrospray source stability, MS1 and MS2 signals, dynamic sampling of ions for MS/MS, and peptide identification. Applied to data sets from replicate LC-MS/MS analyses, these metrics displayed consistent, reasonable responses to controlled perturbations. The metrics typically displayed variations less than 10% and thus can reveal even subtle differences in performance of system components. Analyses of data from interlaboratory studies conducted under a common standard operating procedure identified outlier data and provided clues to specific causes. Moreover, interlaboratory variation reflected by the metrics indicates which system components vary the most between laboratories. Application of these metrics enables rational, quantitative quality assessment for proteomics and other LC-MS/MS analytical applications.
Verification of candidate biomarkers requires specific assays to selectively detect and quantify target proteins in accessible biofluids. The primary objective of verification is to screen potential biomarkers to ensure that only the highest quality candidates from the discovery phase are taken forward into preclinical validation. Because antibody reagents for a clinical grade immunoassay often exist for a small number of candidates, alternative methodologies are required to credential new and unproven candidates in a statistically viable number of serum or plasma samples. Using multiple reaction monitoring coupled with stable isotope dilution MS, we developed quantitative, multiplexed assays in plasma for six proteins of clinical relevance to cardiac injury. The process described does not require antibodies for immunoaffinity enrichment of either proteins or peptides. Limits of detection and quantitation for each signature peptide used as surrogates for the target proteins were determined by the method of standard addition using synthetic peptides and plasma from a healthy donor. Limits of quantitation ranged from 2 to 15 ng/ml for most of the target proteins. Quantitative measurements were obtained for one to two signature peptides derived from each target protein, including low abundance protein markers of cardiac injury in the nanogram/milliliter range such as the cardiac troponins. Intra- and interassay coefficients of variation were predominantly <10 and 25%, respectively. The configured multiplex assay was then used to measure levels of these proteins across three time points in six patients undergoing alcohol septal ablation for hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy. These results are the first demonstration of a multiplexed, MS-based assay for detection and quantification of changes in concentration of proteins associated with cardiac injury in the low nanogram/milliliter range. Our results also demonstrate that these assays retain the necessary precision, reproducibility, and sensitivity to be applied to novel and uncharacterized candidate biomarkers for verification of proteins in blood.
A single nucleotide substitution in intron 3 of IGF2 in pigs abrogates a binding site for a repressor and leads to a 3-fold up-regulation of IGF2 in skeletal muscle. The mutation has major effects on muscle growth, size of the heart, and fat deposition. Here, we have identified the repressor and find that the protein, named ZBED6, is previously unknown, specific for placental mammals, and derived from an exapted DNA transposon. Silencing of Zbed6 in mouse C2C12 myoblasts affected Igf2 expression, cell proliferation, wound healing, and myotube formation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) sequencing using C2C12 cells identified about 2,500 ZBED6 binding sites in the genome, and the deduced consensus motif gave a perfect match with the established binding site in Igf2. Genes associated with ZBED6 binding sites showed a highly significant enrichment for certain Gene Ontology classifications, including development and transcriptional regulation. The phenotypic effects in mutant pigs and ZBED6-silenced C2C12 myoblasts, the extreme sequence conservation, its nucleolar localization, the broad tissue distribution, and the many target genes with essential biological functions suggest that ZBED6 is an important transcription factor in placental mammals, affecting development, cell proliferation, and growth.
Advances in mass spectrometry-based proteomics have enabled the incorporation of proteomic data into systems approaches to biology. However, development of analytical methods has lagged behind. Here we describe an empirical Bayes framework for quantitative proteomics data analysis. The method provides a statistical description of each experiment, including the number of proteins that differ in abundance between 2 samples, the experiments statistical power to detect them, and the false-positive probability of each protein.
Verification of candidate biomarkers relies upon specific, quantitative assays optimized for selective detection of target proteins, and is increasingly viewed as a critical step in the discovery pipeline that bridges unbiased biomarker discovery to preclinical validation. Although individual laboratories have demonstrated that multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) coupled with isotope dilution mass spectrometry can quantify candidate protein biomarkers in plasma, reproducibility and transferability of these assays between laboratories have not been demonstrated. We describe a multilaboratory study to assess reproducibility, recovery, linear dynamic range and limits of detection and quantification of multiplexed, MRM-based assays, conducted by NCI-CPTAC. Using common materials and standardized protocols, we demonstrate that these assays can be highly reproducible within and across laboratories and instrument platforms, and are sensitive to low mug/ml protein concentrations in unfractionated plasma. We provide data and benchmarks against which individual laboratories can compare their performance and evaluate new technologies for biomarker verification in plasma.
The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genome figures prominently in evolutionary investigations of vertebrate animals due to a suite of characteristics that include absence of Darwinian selection, high mutation rate, and inheritance as a single linkage group. Given complete linkage and selective neutrality, mtDNA gene trees are expected to correspond to intraspecific phylogenies, and mtDNA diversity will reflect population size. The validity of these assumptions is, however, rarely tested on a genome-wide scale. Here, we analyze rates and patterns of molecular evolution among 32 whole mitochondrial genomes of Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) as compared with its sister taxon, the walleye pollock (Gadus [Theragra] chalcogrammus), and genomes of seven other gadine codfish. We evaluate selection within G. morhua, between sister species, and among species and intraspecific measures of linkage disequilibrium and recombination within G. morhua. Strong rate heterogeneity occurs among sites and genes at all levels of hierarchical comparison, consistent with variation in mutation rates across the genome. Neutrality indices (dN/dS) are significantly greater than unity among G. morhua genomes and between sister species, which suggests that polymorphisms within species are slightly deleterious, as expected under the nearly neutral theory of molecular evolution. Among species of gadines, dN/dS ratios are heterogeneous among genes, consistent with purifying selection and variation in functional constraint among genes rather than positive selection. The dN/dS ratio for ND4L is anomalously high across all hierarchical levels. There is no evidence for recombination within G. morhua. These patterns contrast strongly with those reported for humans: genome-wide patterns in other vertebrates should be investigated to elucidate the complex patterns of mtDNA molecular evolution.
The aberrant activation of tyrosine kinases represents an important oncogenic mechanism, and yet the majority of such events remain undiscovered. Here we describe a bead-based method for detecting phosphorylation of both wild-type and mutant tyrosine kinases in a multiplexed, high-throughput and low-cost manner. With the aim of establishing a tyrosine kinase-activation catalog, we used this method to profile 130 human cancer lines. Follow-up experiments on the finding that SRC is frequently phosphorylated in glioblastoma cell lines showed that SRC is also activated in primary glioblastoma patient samples and that the SRC inhibitor dasatinib (Sprycel) inhibits viability and cell migration in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. Testing of dasatinib-resistant tyrosine kinase alleles confirmed that SRC is indeed the relevant target of dasatinib, which inhibits many tyrosine kinases. These studies establish the feasibility of tyrosine kinome-wide phosphorylation profiling and point to SRC as a possible therapeutic target in glioblastoma.
Protein biomarker candidates from discovery proteomics must be quantitatively verified in patient samples before they can progress to clinical validation. Here we demonstrate that peptide immunoaffinity enrichment coupled with stable isotope dilution mass spectrometry (SISCAPA-MRM) can be used to configure assays with performance suitable for candidate biomarker verification. As proof of principle, we configured SISCAPA assays for troponin I (cTnI), an established biomarker of cardiac injury, and interleukin 33 (IL-33), an emerging immunological and cardiovascular marker for which robust immunoassays are currently not available.
The ability to perform thorough sampling is of critical importance when using mass spectrometry to characterize complex proteomic mixtures. A common approach is to reinterrogate a sample multiple times by LC-MS/MS. However, the conventional data-dependent acquisition methods that are typically used in proteomics studies will often redundantly sample high-intensity precursor ions while failing to sample low-intensity precursors entirely. We describe a method wherein the masses of successfully identified peptides are used to generate an accurate mass exclusion list such that those precursors are not selected for sequencing during subsequent analyses. We performed multiple concatenated analytical runs to sample a complex cell lysate, using either accurate mass exclusion-based data-dependent acquisition (AMEx) or standard data-dependent acquisition, and found that utilization of AMEx on an ESI-Orbitrap instrument significantly increases the total number of validated peptide identifications relative to a standard DDA approach. The additional identified peptides represent precursor ions that exhibit low signal intensity in the sample. Increasing the total number of peptide identifications augmented the number of proteins identified, as well as improved the sequence coverage of those proteins. Together, these data indicate that using AMEx is an effective strategy to improve the characterization of complex proteomic mixtures.
Animal cells initiate cytokinesis in parallel with anaphase onset, when an actomyosin ring assembles and constricts through localized activation of the small GTPase RhoA, giving rise to a cleavage furrow. Furrow formation relies on positional cues provided by anaphase spindle microtubules (MTs), but how such cues are generated remains unclear. Using chemical genetics to achieve both temporal and spatial control, we show that the self-organized delivery of Polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) to the midzone and its local phosphorylation of a MT-bound substrate are critical for generating this furrow-inducing signal. When Plk1 was active but unable to target itself to this equatorial landmark, both cortical RhoA recruitment and furrow induction failed to occur, thus recapitulating the effects of anaphase-specific Plk1 inhibition. Using tandem mass spectrometry and phosphospecific antibodies, we found that Plk1 binds and directly phosphorylates the HsCYK-4 subunit of centralspindlin (also known as MgcRacGAP) at the midzone. At serine 157, this modification creates a major docking site for the tandem BRCT repeats of the Rho GTP exchange factor Ect2. Cells expressing only a nonphosphorylatable form of HsCYK-4 failed to localize Ect2 at the midzone and were severely impaired in cleavage furrow formation, implying that HsCYK-4 is Plk1s rate-limiting target upstream of RhoA. Conversely, tethering an inhibitor-resistant allele of Plk1 to HsCYK-4 allowed furrows to form despite global inhibition of all other Plk1 molecules in the cell. Our findings illuminate two key mechanisms governing the initiation of cytokinesis in human cells and illustrate the power of chemical genetics to probe such regulation both in time and space.
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