[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The current advances in mass spectrometry technology have led to the possibility of analyzing more complex biological samples such as entire proteomes. Here, we describe a new and powerful methodology that combines the use of the metalloendopeptidase Lys-N and strong cation exchange with mass spectrometric analysis. The approach described here allows one to separate peptides with different functional groups. The peptides we are able to isolate are N-terminal peptides, phosphorylated peptides with a single lysine, peptides with a single basic residue (lysine), and peptides with multiply basic residues. When this separation strategy is combined with tandem mass spectrometry that involves both collision-induced dissociation and electron transfer dissociation, one can achieve an optimal targeted strategy for proteome analysis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wnt signaling maintains the undifferentiated state of intestinal crypt progenitor cells by inducing the formation of nuclear TCF4/β-catenin complexes. In colorectal cancer, activating mutations in Wnt pathway components cause inappropriate activation of TCF4/β-catenin-driven transcription. Despite the passage of a decade after the discovery of TCF4 and β-catenin as the molecular effectors of the Wnt signal, few transcriptional activators essential and unique to the regulation of this transcription program have been found. Using proteomics, we identified the leukemia-associated Mllt10/Af10 and the methyltransferase Dot1l as Tcf4/β-catenin interactors in mouse small intestinal crypts. Mllt10/Af10-Dot1l, essential for transcription elongation, are recruited to Wnt target genes in a β-catenin-dependent manner, resulting in H3K79 methylation over their coding regions in vivo in proliferative crypts of mouse small intestine in colorectal cancer and Wnt-inducible HEK293T cells. Depletion of MLLT10/AF10 in colorectal cancer and Wnt-inducible HEK293T cells followed by expression array analysis identifies MLLT10/AF10 and DOT1L as essential activators to a large extent dedicated to Wnt target gene regulation. In contrast, previously published β-catenin coactivators p300 and BRG1 displayed a more pleiotropic target gene expression profile controlling Wnt and other pathways. tcf4, mllt10/af10, and dot1l are co-expressed in Wnt-driven tissues in zebrafish and essential for Wnt-reporter activity. Intestinal differentiation defects in apc-mutant zebrafish can be rescued by depletion of Mllt10 and Dot1l, establishing these genes as activators downstream of Apc in Wnt target gene activation in vivo. Morpholino-depletion of mllt10/af10-dot1l in zebrafish results in defects in intestinal homeostasis and a significant reduction in the in vivo expression of direct Wnt target genes and in the number of proliferative intestinal epithelial cells. We conclude that Mllt10/Af10-Dot1l are essential, largely dedicated activators of Wnt-dependent transcription, critical for maintenance of intestinal proliferation and homeostasis. The methyltransferase DOT1L may present an attractive candidate for drug targeting in colorectal cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The largest component of the human heart, the left ventricle (LV), plays a major role in delivering blood throughout the body. Therefore, an in-depth detailed quantitative proteome analysis of the human LV is a valuable resource. For this purpose, a multifaceted proteomics approach combining differential sample fractionations (gel, strong cation exchange (SCX)), enzymatic digestions (trypsin, chymotrypsin, LysN), and peptide fragmentation techniques (CID and ETcaD) was used to enhance protein sequence coverage, identification confidence and quantitative abundance determination. Using stringent criteria, 3584 distinct proteins could be identified from the latest well-annotated Swissprot database (23,000 entries). Commutatively, the over 130,000 identified MS/MS spectra were used to assess concentrations of each identified LV protein through a combination of spectral counting methods. Among the most concentrated proteins, many currently used biomarkers for detection of myocardial infarction reside. These cardiac leakage markers have a good diagnostic power, but their prognostic potential seems limited. Discovery of markers that represent etiological determinants of cardiac disease require a shift of focus towards the signaling proteome. Therefore, a protein-class centered quantitative analysis of kinases, phosphatases and GTPases was adopted. These comparative analyses revealed many cardiac involved kinases (PKA, CaMKII, ERK) to reside among the most abundant signaling proteins, and also to mediate many observed in vivo phosphorylation sites. The abundance chart of signaling proteins may assist in identifying novel functional pathways, for instance through the abundant, but relatively little known, kinases STK38L and OXSR1. The obtained quantitative protein library of the human left ventricle is a valuable resource to isolate signaling based, putative biomarkers with concentrations likely to be detectable in plasma.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trypsin, the most widely used enzyme in proteomics, has a few caveats as it does not perform well under certain harsh sample handling conditions and creates relatively short peptides less amenable to, for instance, electron transfer dissociation. There is, thus, room for improvement using alternative proteases. Here, we evaluate the performance of such an alternative protease, the metalloendopeptidase Lys-N, in sample preparation for proteomic analyses under various experimental conditions. The experimental parameters we evaluated were protein-to-protease ratio, incubation time, temperature, and several concentrations of denaturing modifiers often used in proteomics sample handling. Our data reveal that Lys-N is still very efficient under some very harsh (denaturing) conditions (e.g., 8 M urea, 80% acetonitrile) and at temperatures as low as 4 degrees C and up to 80 degrees C but severely hampered by guanidine hydrochloride and methanol. These rather unique features make Lys-N a good candidate for a variety of applications, such as membrane proteomics and possibly H/D exchange mass spectrometry. Additionally, we show that Lys-N is capable of, in contrast to trypsin or Lys-C, cleaving adjacent to mono- and dimethylated lysines, making it a good candidate for targeted epigenetic analysis of for instance histones.
Journal of Proteome Research 08/2010; 9(8):4282-8. DOI:10.1021/pr100341e · 4.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, we introduced a novel proteomics method employing a metalloendopeptidase with Lys-N specificity to produce proteolytic peptides. Fragmentation spectra generated by electron transfer dissociation, for a large proportion of the Lys-N proteolytic peptides, were found to be dominated by extensive series of c-type ions. Taking advantage of this unique spectral property, we developed an algorithm, LysNDeNovo, to facilitate de novo sequencing of these peptides. LysNDeNovo contains simple and naive heuristics to demonstrate a proof of concept, i.e. that Lys-N peptide electron transfer dissociation spectra are perfectly suited for de novo interpretation. A stringent "golden" dataset of peptides identified by conventional database search algorithms was taken to validate the performance of LysNDeNovo. The results on this dataset indicate that LysNDeNovo was able to confidently identify a considerable proportion (42%), without requiring any prior genome or protein sequences. Results of similar quantity and quality could also be obtained on a much more extensive experimental dataset, illustrating the potential for higher throughput de novo sequencing using these methods.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wnt signalling maintains the undifferentiated state of intestinal crypt/progenitor cells through the TCF4/beta-catenin-activating transcriptional complex. In colorectal cancer, activating mutations in Wnt pathway components lead to inappropriate activation of the TCF4/beta-catenin transcriptional programme and tumourigenesis. The mechanisms by which TCF4/beta-catenin activate key target genes are not well understood. Using a proteomics approach, we identified Tnik, a member of the germinal centre kinase family as a Tcf4 interactor in the proliferative crypts of mouse small intestine. Tnik is recruited to promoters of Wnt target genes in mouse crypts and in Ls174T colorectal cancer cells in a beta-catenin-dependent manner. Depletion of TNIK and expression of TNIK kinase mutants abrogated TCF-LEF transcription, highlighting the essential function of the kinase activity in Wnt target gene activation. In vitro binding and kinase assays show that TNIK directly binds both TCF4 and beta-catenin and phosphorylates TCF4. siRNA depletion of TNIK followed by expression array analysis showed that TNIK is an essential, specific activator of Wnt transcriptional programme. This kinase may present an attractive candidate for drug targeting in colorectal cancer.
The EMBO Journal 10/2009; 28(21):3329-40. DOI:10.1038/emboj.2009.285 · 10.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this work, we explore the potential of the metalloendopeptidase Lys-N for MALDI-MS/MS proteomics applications. Initially we digested a HEK293 cellular lysate with Lys-N and, for comparison, in parallel with the protease Lys-C. The resulting peptides were separated by strong cation exchange to enrich and isolate peptides containing a single N-terminal lysine. MALDI-MS/MS analysis of these peptides yielded CID spectra with clear and often complete sequence ladders of b-ions. To test the applicability for de novo sequencing we next separated an ostrich muscle tissue protein lysate by one-dimensional SDS-PAGE. A protein band at 42 kDa was in-gel digested with Lys-N. Relatively straightforward sequencing resulted in the de novo identification of the two ostrich proteins creatine kinase and actin. We therefore conclude that this method that combines Lys-N, strong cation exchange enrichment, and MALDI-MS/MS analysis provides a valuable alternative proteomics strategy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In proteomics multi-dimensional fractionation techniques are widely used to reduce the complexity of peptide mixtures subjected to mass spectrometric analysis. Here, we describe the sequential use of strong cation exchange and reversed phase liquid chromatography in the separation of peptides generated by a relatively little explored metallo-endopeptidase with Lys-N cleavage specificity. When such proteolytic peptides are subjected to low-pH strong cation exchange we obtain fractionation profiles in which peptides from different functional categories are well separated. The four categories we distinguish and are able to separate to near completion are (I) acetylated N-terminal peptides; (II) singly phosphorylated peptides containing a single basic (Lys) residue; (III) peptides containing a single basic (Lys) residue; and (IV) peptides containing more than one basic residue. Analyzing these peptides by LC-MS/MS using an ion trap with both collision as well as electron transfer-induced dissociation provides unique optimal targeted strategies for proteome analysis. The acetylated peptides in category I can be identified confidently by both CID and ETcaD, whereby the ETcaD spectra are dominated by sequence informative Z-ion series. For the phosphorylated peptides in category II and the "normal" single Lys containing peptides in category III ETcaD provides unique straightforward sequence ladders of c'-ions, from which the exact location of possible phosphorylation sites can be easily determined. The later fractions, category IV, require analysis by both ETcaD and CID, where it is shown that electron transfer dissociation performs relatively well for these multiple basic residues containing peptides, as is expected. We argue that the well resolved separation of functional categories of peptides observed is characteristic for Lys-N-generated peptides. Overall, the combination of Lys-N proteolysis, low-pH strong cation exchange, and reversed phase separation, with CID and ETD induced fragmentation, adds a new very powerful method to the toolbox of proteomic analyses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We introduce a method for sequencing peptides by mass spectrometry using a metalloendopeptidase that cleaves proteins at the amino side of lysine (Lys-N). When analyzed by electron transfer dissociation (ETD)-based mass spectrometric sequencing, Lys-N-digested peptides that contain a single lysine residue produce spectra dominated by c-type fragment ions, providing simple ladders for sequence determination. This method should be a valuable strategy for de novo sequencing and the analysis of post-translational modifications.