[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proteins that interact with nucleic acids are central to numerous cellular processes, and their continuing characterization represents one of the foremost challenges in the postgenomic era. Here we describe a simple proteomics-based approach for the identification by mass spectrometry of proteins in crude extracts that interact with nucleic acids. It incorporates the electrophoretic mobility shift assay and is based on the finding that when a protein forms a complex with nucleic acid its electrophoretic mobility is affected as well as that of the nucleic acid. Our method should greatly reduce and in some cases may even eliminate the need for extensive protein purification and as such should contribute significantly to the functional annotation of the proteome. Furthermore it requires no prior knowledge of the molecular mass, quaternary structure, or pI of the interacting protein. Proof of principle is demonstrated using a recently discovered transcription factor; however, the approach should also have application in the identification of proteins that interact with RNA.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Drosophila melanogaster, the male seminal fluid contains proteins that are important for reproductive success. Many of these proteins are synthesised by the male accessory glands and are secreted into the accessory gland lumen, where they are stored until required. Previous studies on the identification of Drosophila accessory gland products have largely focused on characterisation of male-specific accessory gland cDNAs from D. melanogaster and, more recently, Drosophila simulans. In the present study, we have used a proteomics approach without any sex bias to identify proteins in D. melanogaster accessory gland secretions.
Thirteen secreted accessory gland proteins, including seven new accessory gland proteins, were identified by 2D-gel electrophoresis combined with mass spectrometry of tryptic fragments. They included protein-folding and stress-response proteins, a hormone, a lipase, a serpin, a cysteine-rich protein and two peptidases, a pro-enzyme form of a cathepsin K-like cysteine peptidase and a gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase. Enzymatic studies established that accessory gland secretions contain a cysteine peptidase zymogen that can be activated at low pH. This peptidase may have a role in the processing of female and other male-derived proteins, but is unlikely to be involved in the processing of the sex peptide. gamma-Glutamyl transpeptidases are type II integral membrane proteins; however, the identified AG gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT-1) is unusual in that it is predicted to be a soluble secreted protein, a prediction that is supported by biochemical evidence. GGT-1 is possibly involved in maintaining a protective redox environment for sperm. The strong gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase activity found in the secretions provides an explanation for the observation that glutamic acid is the most abundant free amino acid in accessory gland secretions of D. melanogaster.
We have applied biochemical approaches, not used previously, to characterise prominent D. melanogaster accessory gland products. Of the thirteen accessory gland secreted proteins reported in this study, six were represented in a D. simulans male accessory gland EST library that was biased for male-specific genes. Therefore, the present study has identified seven new secreted accessory gland proteins, including GGT-1, which was not recognised previously as a secreted accessory gland product.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endoproteolytic cleavage of protein prohormones often generates intermediates extended at the C-terminus by Arg-Arg or Lys-Arg, the removal of which by a carboxypeptidase (CPE) is normally an important step in the maturation of many peptide hormones. Recent studies in mice that lack CP activity indicate the existence of alternative tissue or plasma enzymes capable of removing C-terminal basic residues from prohormone intermediates. Using inhibitors of angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) and CP, we show that both these enzymes in mouse serum can remove the basic amino acids from the C-terminus of CCK5-GRR and LH-RH-GKR, but only CP is responsible for converting diarginyl insulin to insulin. ACE activity removes C-terminal dipeptides to generate the Gly-extended peptides, whereas CP hydrolysis gives rise to CCK5-GR and LH-RH-GK, both of which are susceptible to the dipeptidyl carboxypeptidase activity of ACE. Somatic ACE has two similar protein domains (the N-domain and the C-domain), each with an active site that can display different substrate specificities. CCK5-GRR is a high-affinity substrate for both the N-domain and C-domain active sites of human sACE (Km of 9.4 µm and 9.0 µm, respectively) with the N-domain showing greater efficiency (kcat : Km ratio of 2.6 in favour of the N-domain). We conclude that somatic forms of ACE should be considered as alternatives to CPs for the removal of basic residues from some Arg/Lys-extended peptides.
European Journal of Biochemistry. 05/1999; 262(2):569 - 574.