Duncan L Smith

The University of Manchester, Manchester, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (17)115.57 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Protein modification by ubiquitination and SUMOylation occur throughout the cell and are responsible for numerous cellular functions such as apoptosis, DNA replication and repair, and gene transcription. Current methods for the identification of such modifications using mass spectrometry predominantly rely upon tryptic isopeptide tag generation followed by database searching with in vitro genetic mutation of SUMO routinely required. We have recently described a novel approach to ubiquitin and SUMO modification detection based upon the diagnostic a' and b' ions released from the isopeptide tags upon collision-induced dissociation of reductively methylated Ubl isopeptides (RUbI) using formaldehyde. Here, we significantly extend those studies by combining data-independent acquisition (DIA) with alternative labeling reagents to improve diagnostic ion coverage and enable relative quantification of modified peptides from both MS and MS/MS signals. Model synthetic ubiquitin and SUMO-derived isopeptides were labeled with mTRAQ reagents (Δ0, Δ4, and Δ8) and subjected to LC-MS/MS with SWATH acquisition. Novel diagnostic ions were generated upon CID, which facilitated the selective detection of these modified peptides. Simultaneous MS-based and MS/MS-based relative quantification was demonstrated for both Ub and SUMO-derived isopeptides across three channels in a background of mTRAQ-labeled Escherichia coli digest.
    Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry 02/2014; · 3.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are frequent and prevalent across the taxa. Although individual non-coding loci have been assigned a function, most are uncharacterized. Their global biological significance is unproven and remains controversial. Here we investigate the role played by ncRNAs in the stress response of Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We integrate global proteomics and RNA sequencing data to identify a systematic programme in which elevated antisense RNA arising both from ncRNAs and from 3'-overlapping convergent gene pairs is directly associated with substantial reductions in protein levels throughout the genome. We describe an extensive array of ncRNAs with trans associations that have the potential to influence multiple pathways. Deletion of one such locus reduces levels of atf1, a transcription factor downstream of the stress-activated mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, and alters sensitivity to oxidative stress. These non-coding transcripts therefore regulate specific stress responses, adding unanticipated information-processing capacity to the MAPK signalling system.
    Nature Communications 01/2014; 5:3947. · 10.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: TOR (target of rapamycin) signaling coordinates cell growth, metabolism, and cell division through tight control of signaling via two complexes, TORC1 and TORC2. Here, we show that fission yeast TOR kinases and mTOR are phosphorylated on an evolutionarily conserved residue of their ATP-binding domain. The Gad8 kinase (AKT homologue) phosphorylates fission yeast Tor1 at this threonine (T1972) to reduce activity. A T1972A mutation that blocked phosphorylation increased Tor1 activity and stress resistance. Nitrogen starvation of fission yeast inhibited TOR signaling to arrest cell cycle progression in G1 phase and promoted sexual differentiation. Starvation and a Gad8/T1972-dependent decrease in Tor1 (TORC2) activity was essential for efficient cell cycle arrest and differentiation. Experiments in human cell lines recapitulated these yeast observations, as mTOR was phosphorylated on T2173 in an AKT-dependent manner. In addition, a T2173A mutation increased mTOR activity. Thus, TOR kinase activity can be reduced through AGC kinase-controlled phosphorylation to generate physiologically significant changes in TOR signaling.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 11/2013; · 10.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mapping sites of wild-type SUMO modification is a challenging endeavour. Here we postulate that a combination of chemical derivatistation and collision-induced dissociation (CID) could be used to generate SUMO remnant diagnostic ions to aid both detection of these isopeptides and increase the analytical value of the product ion spectra required to characterize the nature and position of modification. SUMO(2/3)ylated proteins were digested with trypsin to generate isopeptides bearing TGG and QTGG isotags. The resulting digests were then dimethyl labelled followed by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) utilising CID in a data-dependent acquisition on a QSTAR XL. Product ion spectra were interrogated for the presence of iso-N-terminal fragment ions in addition to backbone sequence ions. The ability to diagnostically detect these isopeptides was tested by generation of co-XICs of the iso-N-terminal fragments in a semi-complex background. Dimethyl labelling facilitated the robust detection of a1', b2' & b3' (TGG isotag) and a1', b2' & b4' (QTGG isotag) ions. The abundance of both N-terminal and iso-N-terminal fragment ions, supported by dimethyl labelling, facilitated the generation of information-rich product ion spectra of these isopeptides to aid confident site assignment. Moreover, the diagnostic nature of the combined XICs of the iso-N-terminal fragments supported detection of the isopeptide signals from a semi-complex background. A combination of dimethyl labelling and CID does indeed lead to the generation of SUMO remnant isopeptide product ion spectra which are more analytically rich. This enables an improvement in characterization of both the isotag and backbone sequences and the site of modification. The diagnostic value of iso-N-terminal fragment ions allows for post-acquisition XIC interrogation to detect putative isopeptides of interest. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 09/2013; 27(18):2108-14. · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Identification of ubiquitination (Ub) sites is of great interest due to the critical roles that the modification plays in cellular regulation. Current methods using mass spectrometry rely upon tryptic isopeptide diglycine tag generation followed by database searching. We present a novel approach to ubiquitin detection based upon the dimethyl labeling of isopeptide N-termini glycines. Ubiquitinated proteins were digested with trypsin and the resulting peptide mixture was derivatized using formaldehyde-D2 solution and sodium cyanoborohydride. The dimethylated peptide mixtures were next separated by liquid chromatography and analyzed on a quadrupole-TOF based mass spectrometer. Diagnostic b2' and a1' ions released from the isopeptide N-terminus upon collision-induced dissociation (CID) were used to spectrally improve the identification of ubiquitinated isopeptides. Proof of principle was established by application to a ubiquitinated protein tryptic digest spiked into a six-protein mix digest background. Extracted ion chromatograms of the a1' and b2' diagnostic product ions from the diglycine tag resulted in a significant reduction in signal complexity and demonstrated a selectivity towards the identification of diglycine branched isopeptides. The method was further shown to be capable of identifying diglycine isopeptides resulting from in-gel tryptic digests of ubiquitin enriched material from a His-Ub transfected cell line. We envisage that these ions may be utilized in global ubiquitination studies with post-acquisition MS/MS (or MSe) data interrogation on high resolution hybrid mass spectrometers. Figure ᅟ
    Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry 01/2013; · 3.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Identification of sites of protein SUMOylation is of great importance due its functional diversity within the cell. To date, most approaches to this problem rely on site-directed mutagenesis and/or highly specialised mass spectrometry approaches. We present a novel alternative approach to the site mapping of SUMOylation using trypsin and elastase digestion, routine mass spectrometry and an unbiased isotag database searching strategy. SUMOylated protein samples were digested with a number of enzymes and the resulting peptides separated using liquid chromatography. Analysis was carried out on both linear ion trap Orbitrap and quadrupole-time-of-flight (Q-TOF)-based mass spectrometers equipped with electrospray ionisation. The data files were subsequently searched using the Mascot algorithm with multiple variable tag modifications corresponding to SUMO-derived fragments. The utility of this approach was demonstrated with di-SUMO 2, di-SUMO 3, SUMO 1-RanGap(418-587) 1 and an enriched population of SUMOylated proteins. Unbiased database searches led to the identification of a number of analytically useful isotags ranging in length from two to four residues. Isopeptide fragments were generated including QTGG (di-SUMO-2/3), TGG (di-SUMO-2/3) and GG (SUMO-1). The method was validated by successfully mapping a number of sites of SUMO modification on SUMO-modified proteins enriched from a cell lysate. This combination of relaxed enzyme specificity, shortened isotag generation and unbiased database searching enabled confident identification of novel analytically useful SUMOylated isopeptides without a requirement for mutagenesis. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 01/2013; 27(1):127-34. · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Activation of the Cdk1/cyclin B complex, also known as mitosis-promoting factor (MPF), drives commitment to mitosis. Interphase MPF is inhibited through phosphorylation of Cdk1 by Wee1-related kinases. Because Cdc25 phosphatases remove this phosphate, Cdc25 activity is an essential part of the switch that drives cells into mitosis. The generation of a critical "trigger" of active MPF promotes a positive feedback loop that employs Polo kinase to boost Cdc25 activity and inhibit Wee1, thereby ensuring that mitotic commitment is a bistable switch. Mutations in the spindle pole body (SPB) component Cut12 suppress otherwise lethal deficiencies in Cdc25. RESULTS: Cut12 harbors a bipartite protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) docking domain. Mutation of either element alone suppressed the temperature-dependent lethality of cdc25.22, whereas simultaneous ablation of both allowed cells to divide in the complete absence of Cdc25. Late G2 phase phosphorylation between the two elements by MPF and the NIMA kinase Fin1 blocked PP1(Dis2) recruitment, thereby promoting recruitment of Polo to Cut12 and the SPB and elevating global Polo kinase activity throughout the cell. CONCLUSIONS: PP1 recruitment to Cut12 sets a threshold for Polo's feedback-loop activity that locks the cell in interphase until Cdc25 pushes MPF activity through this barrier to initiate mitosis. We propose that events on the SPB (and, by inference, the centrosome) integrate inputs from diverse signaling networks to generate a coherent decision to divide that is appropriate for the particular environmental context of each cell. PP1 recruitment sets one or more critical thresholds for single or multiple local events within this switch.
    Current biology: CB 01/2013; · 10.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mitotic exit integrates the reversal of the phosphorylation events initiated by mitotic kinases with a controlled cytokinesis event that cleaves the cell in two. The mitotic exit network (MEN) of budding yeast regulates both processes, whereas the fission yeast equivalent, the septum initiation network (SIN), controls only the execution of cytokinesis. The components and architecture of the SIN and MEN are highly conserved. At present, it is assumed that the functions of the core SIN-MEN components are restricted to their characterized roles at the end of mitosis. We now show that the NDR (nuclear Dbf2-related) kinase component of the fission yeast SIN, Sid2-Mob1, acts independently of the other known SIN components in G2 phase of the cell cycle to control the timing of mitotic commitment. Sid2-Mob1 promotes mitotic commitment by directly activating the NIMA (Never In Mitosis)-related kinase Fin1. Fin1's activation promotes its own destruction, thereby making Fin1 activation a transient feature of G2 phase. This spike of Fin1 activation modulates the activity of the Pom1/Cdr1/Cdr2 geometry network towards Wee1.
    Nature Cell Biology 06/2012; 14(7):738-45. · 20.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the first investigation into the utility of porous graphitic carbon (PGC) as a stationary phase in proteomic workflows involving complex samples. PGC offers chemical and physical robustness and is capable of withstanding extremes of pH and higher temperatures than traditional stationary phases, without the likelihood of catastrophic failure. In addition, unlike separations driven by ion exchange mechanisms, there is no requirement for high levels of non-volatile salts such as potassium chloride in the elution buffers, which must be removed prior to LC-MS analysis. Here we present data which demonstrate that PGC affords excellent peptide separation in a complex whole cell lysate digest sample, with good orthogonality to a typical low pH reversed-phase system. As strong cation exchange (SCX) is currently the most popular first dimension for 2D peptide separations, we chose to compare the performance of a PGC and SCX separation as the first dimension in a comprehensive 2D-LC-MS/MS workflow. A significant increase, in the region of 40%, in peptide identifications is reported with off-line PGC fractionation compared to SCX. Around 14,000 unique peptides were identified at an estimated false discovery rate of 1% (n=3 replicates) from starting material constituting only 100 μg of protein extract.
    Journal of Chromatography A 01/2012; 1232:276-80. · 4.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genome annotation is a synthesis of computational prediction and experimental evidence. Small genes are notoriously difficult to detect because the patterns used to identify them are often indistinguishable from chance occurrences, leading to an arbitrary cutoff threshold for the length of a protein-coding gene identified solely by in silico analysis. We report a systematic reappraisal of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe genome that ignores thresholds. A complete six-frame translation was compared to a proteome data set, the Pfam domain database, and the genomes of six other fungi. Thirty-nine novel loci were identified. RT-PCR and RNA-Seq confirmed transcription at 38 loci; 33 novel gene structures were delineated by 5' and 3' RACE. Expression levels of 14 transcripts fluctuated during meiosis. Translational evidence for 10 genes, evolutionary conservation data supporting 35 predictions, and distinct phenotypes upon ORF deletion (one essential, four slow-growth, two delayed-division phenotypes) suggest that all 39 predictions encode functional proteins. The popularity of S. pombe as a model organism suggests that this augmented annotation will be of interest in diverse areas of molecular and cellular biology, while the generality of the approach suggests widespread applicability to other genomes.
    Genetics 01/2011; 187(4):1207-17. · 4.39 Impact Factor
  • PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(1). · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most protein mass spectrometry (MS) experiments rely on searches against a database of known or predicted proteins, limiting their ability as a gene discovery tool. Using a search against an in silico translation of the entire human genome, combined with a series of annotation filters, we identified 346 putative novel peptides [False Discovery Rate (FDR)<5%] in a MS dataset derived from two human breast epithelial cell lines. A subset of these were then successfully validated by a different MS technique. Two of these correspond to novel isoforms of Heterogeneous Ribonuclear Proteins, while the rest correspond to novel loci. MS technology can be used for ab initio gene discovery in human data, which, since it is based on different underlying assumptions, identifies protein-coding genes not found by other techniques. As MS technology continues to evolve, such approaches will become increasingly powerful.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(1):e8949. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Embryonic stem (ES) cells can differentiate in vitro to produce the endothelial and hematopoietic precursor, the hemangioblasts, which are derived from the mesoderm germ layer. Differentiation of Bry(GFP/+) ES cell to hemangioblasts can be followed by the expression of the Bry(GFP/+) and Flk1 genes. Proteomic and transcriptomic changes during this differentiation process were analyzed to identify mechanisms for phenotypic change during early differentiation. Three populations of differentiating Bry(GFP) ES cells were obtained by flow cytometric sorting, GFP-Flk1- (epiblast), GFP+Flk1- (mesoderm), and GFP+Flk1+ (hemangioblast). Microarray analyses and relative quantification two-dimensional LCLC-MS/MS on nuclear extracts were performed. We identified and quantified 2389 proteins, 1057 of which were associated to their microarray probe set. These included a variety of low abundance transcription factors, e.g. UTF1, Sox2, Oct4, and E2F4, demonstrating a high level of proteomic penetrance. When paired comparisons of changes in the mRNA and protein expression levels were performed low levels of correlation were found. A strong correlation between isobaric tag-derived relative quantification and Western blot analysis was found for a number of nuclear proteins. Pathway and ontology analysis identified proteins known to be involved in the regulation of stem cell differentiation, and proteins with no described function in early ES cell development were also shown to change markedly at the proteome level only. ES cell development is regulated at the mRNA and protein level.
    Molecular &amp Cellular Proteomics 04/2008; 7(3):459-72. · 7.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The proteome is determined by rates of transcription, translation, and protein turnover. Definition of stem cell populations therefore requires a stem cell proteome signature. However, the limit to the number of primary cells available has restricted extensive proteomic analysis. We present a mass spectrometric method using an isobaric covalent modification of peptides for relative quantification (iTRAQ), which was employed to compare the proteomes of approximately 1 million long-term reconstituting hematopoietic stem cells (Lin(-)Sca(+)Kit(+); LSK(+)) and non-long-term reconstituting progenitor cells (Lin(-)Sca(+)Kit(-); LSK(-)), respectively. Extensive 2-dimensional liquid chromatography (LC) peptide separation prior to mass spectrometry (MS) enabled enhanced proteome coverage with relative quantification of 948 proteins. Of the 145 changes in the proteome, 54% were not seen in the transcriptome. Hypoxia-related changes in proteins controlling metabolism and oxidative protection were observed, indicating that LSK(+) cells are adapted for anaerobic environments. This approach can define proteomic changes in primary samples, thereby characterizing the molecular signature of stem cells and their progeny.
    Blood 07/2006; 107(12):4687-94. · 9.06 Impact Factor
  • Duncan L Smith, John Burthem, Anthony D Whetton
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    ABSTRACT: The abnormal haemopoietic precursor cells of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) carry the cytogenetic abnormality [t(9;22)(q34;q11)]--a reciprocal translocation that results in the expression of a chimaeric protein derived from the fused BCR and ABL genes. This Bcr-Abl protein tyrosine kinase mediates an array of effects on signal transduction pathways affecting cell survival, proliferation, adhesion and genetic stability. The end-result of these abnormal signalling processes is a bi- or triphasic clinical disease. Initially, CML is characterised by the presence of an excess of myeloid progenitor cells and their mature progeny. This chronic phase of CML is followed, either directly or with an intervening 'accelerated phase', by a stage where primitive blast cells predominate (acute transformation). This review discusses the role of Bcr-Abl-mediated signalling events in cellular transformation, genetic instability and disease progression in CML, and describes current developments in CML treatment using a Bcr-Abl inhibitor.
    Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine 12/2003; 5(27):1-27. · 6.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a hematopoietic stem cell disease, the hallmark of which is the Bcr-Abl protein tyrosine kinase (PTK). Without intervention the disease progresses from a benign chronic phase to a rapidly fatal blast crisis. To identify the molecular mechanisms underlying disease progression we used two-dimensional gel electrophoresis on a model we have previously described using the expression of a conditional mutant of Bcr-Abl PTK in a multipotent stem cell line, FDCP-Mix. Long term exposure of FDCP-Mix cells to Bcr-Abl mimics disease progression in CML. Four major differences were observed as a consequence of long term exposure to the Bcr-Abl PTK compared with cells exposed short term. The proteins were identified using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry-generated peptide mass fingerprint data and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry-generated sequence information. Leukotriene A4 hydrolase, an enzyme known to be deregulated in CML, was found to be up-regulated. Annexin VI, vacuolar ATP synthase catalytic subunit A, and mortalin were found to be down-regulated. Poly(A) PCR cDNA analysis showed there was no correlation between the protein expression changes and mRNA levels. Western blot analysis also indicated no change in the levels of mortalin or leukotriene A4 hydrolase, indicating that post-translational events may modify protein content of the specific spots. Leukotriene B4 levels (product of leukotriene A4 hydrolase) were, however, reduced in cells exposed long term to Bcr-Abl activity. This study demonstrates the potential of proteomic analysis to define novel effects of oncogenes.
    Molecular &amp Cellular Proteomics 12/2002; 1(11):876-84. · 7.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein identification by peptide mass mapping usually involves digestion of gel-separated proteins with trypsin, followed by mass measurement of the resulting peptides by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). Positive identification requires measurement of enough peptide masses to obtain a definitive match with sequence information recorded in protein or DNA sequence databases. However, competitive binding and ionization of residual surfactant introduced during polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) can inhibit solid-phase extraction and MS analysis of tryptic peptides. We have evaluated a novel, acid-labile surfactant (ALS) as an alternative to sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS) for two-dimensional (2-D) PAGE separation and MALDI-MS mapping of proteins. ALS was substituted for SDS at the same concentration in buffers and gels used for 2-D PAGE. Manual and automated procedures for spot cutting and in-gel digestion were used to process Coomassie stained proteins for MS analysis. Results indicate that substituting ALS for SDS during PAGE can significantly increase the number of peptides detected by MALDI-MS, especially for proteins of relatively low abundance. This effect is attributed to decomposition of ALS under acidic conditions during gel staining, destaining, peptide extraction and MS sample preparation. Automated excision and digestion procedures reduce contamination by keratin and other impurities, further enhancing MS identification of gel separated proteins.
    PROTEOMICS 08/2002; 2(7):928-36. · 4.13 Impact Factor