Gabriel M Simon

The Scripps Research Institute, لا هویا, California, United States

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Publications (28)329.69 Total impact

  • Hyeon-Cheol Lee · Gabriel M Simon · Benjamin F Cravatt
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    ABSTRACT: N-Acyl phospholipids are atypical components of cell membranes that bear three acyl chains and serve as potential biosynthetic precursors for lipid mediators such as endocannabinoids. Biochemical studies have implicated ABHD4 as a brain N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE) lipase, but in vivo evidence for this functional assignment is lacking. Here, we describe ABHD4(-/-) mice and their characterization using untargeted lipidomics to discover that ABHD4 regulates multiple classes of brain N-acyl phospholipids. In addition to showing reductions in brain glycerophospho-NAEs (GP-NAEs) and plasmalogen-based lyso-NAPEs (lyso-pNAPEs), ABHD4(-/-) mice exhibited decreases in a distinct set of brain lipids that were structurally characterized as N-acyl lysophosphatidylserines (lyso-NAPSs). Biochemical assays confirmed that NAPS lipids are direct substrates of ABHD4. These findings, taken together, designate ABHD4 as a principal regulator of N-acyl phospholipid metabolism in the mammalian nervous system.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Biochemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic alterations or pharmacological treatments affecting endocannabinoid signaling have profound effects on synaptic and neuronal properties and, under certain conditions, may improve higher brain functions. Down syndrome (DS), a developmental disorder caused by triplication of chromosome 21, is characterized by deficient cognition and inevitable development of the Alzheimer disease (AD) type pathology during aging. Here we used JZL184, a selective inhibitor of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), to examine the effects of chronic MAGL inhibition on the behavioral, biochemical, and synaptic properties of aged Ts65Dn mice, a genetic model of DS. In both Ts65Dn mice and their normosomic (2N) controls, JZL184-treatment increased brain levels of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and decreased levels of its metabolites such as arachidonic acid, prostaglandins PGD2, PGE2, PGFα, and PGJ2. Enhanced spontaneous locomotor activity of Ts65Dn mice was reduced by the JZL184-treatement to the levels observed in 2N animals. Deficient long-term memory was also improved, while short-term and working types of memory were unaffected. Furthermore, reduced hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) was increased in the JZL184-treated Ts65Dn mice to the levels observed in 2N mice. Interestingly, changes in synaptic plasticity and behavior were not observed in the JZL184-treated 2N mice suggesting that the treatment specifically attenuated the defects in the trisomic animals. The JZL184-treatment also reduced the levels of Aβ40 and Aβ42, but had no effect on the levels of full length APP and BACE1 in both Ts65Dn and 2N mice. These data show that chronic MAGL inhibition improves the behavior and brain functions in a DS model suggesting that pharmacological targeting of MAGL may be considered as a perspective new approach for improving cognition in DS.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: To study how microbes establish themselves in a mammalian gut environment, we colonized germ-free mice with microbial communities from human, zebrafish, and termite guts, human skin and tongue, soil, and estuarine microbial mats. Bacteria from these foreign environments colonized and persisted in the mouse gut; their capacity to metabolize dietary and host carbohydrates and bile acids correlated with colonization success. Cohousing mice harboring these xenomicrobiota or a mouse cecal microbiota, along with germ-free "bystanders," revealed the success of particular bacterial taxa in invading guts with established communities and empty gut habitats. Unanticipated patterns of ecological succession were observed; for example, a soil-derived bacterium dominated even in the presence of bacteria from other gut communities (zebrafish and termite), and human-derived bacteria colonized germ-free bystander mice before mouse-derived organisms. This approach can be generalized to address a variety of mechanistic questions about succession, including succession in the context of microbiota-directed therapeutics.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Cell
  • Melissa M Dix · Gabriel M Simon · Benjamin F Cravatt
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    ABSTRACT: Delineation of the natural substrate scope of proteases is important for understanding the functions of proteolytic pathways in physiology and disease. Herein we describe the protocol for PROTOMAP, a technique that combines SDS-PAGE with tandem mass spectrometry to globally identify shifts in protein migration indicative of proteolytic processing. When applied to cells undergoing apoptosis, this unbiased global method provides a snapshot of the topography and magnitude of proteolytic events associated with programmed cell death.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
  • Gabriel M Simon · Micah J Niphakis · Benjamin F Cravatt

    No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Nature Chemical Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Most filarial parasites in the subfamilies Onchocercinae and Dirofilariinae depend on Wolbachia endobacteria to successfully carry out their life cycle. Recently published data indicate that the few Wolbachia-free species in these subfamilies were infected in the distant past and have subsequently shed their endosymbionts. We used an integrated transcriptomic and proteomic analysis of Onchocerca flexuosa to explore the molecular mechanisms that allow worms of this species to survive without a bacterial partner. Roche/454 sequencing of the adult transcriptome produced 16,814 isogroup and 47,252 singleton sequences that are estimated to represent approximately 41% of the complete gene set. Sequences similar to 97 Wolbachia genes were identified from the transcriptome, some of which appear on the same transcripts as sequences similar to nematode genes. Computationally predicted peptides, including those with similarity to Wolbachia proteins, were classified at the domain and pathway levels in order to assess the metabolic capabilities of O. flexuosa and compare against the Wolbachia-dependent model filaria, Brugia malayi. Transcript data further facilitated a shotgun proteomic analysis of O. flexuosa adult worm lysate, resulting in the identification of 1,803 proteins. Three of the peptides detected by mass spectroscopy map to two ABC transport-related proteins from Wolbachia. Antibodies raised to one of the Wolbachia-like peptides labeled a single 38 kDa band on Western blots of O. flexuosa lysate and stained specific worm tissues by immunohistology. Future studies will be required to determine the exact functions of Wolbachia-like peptides and proteins in O. flexuosa and to assess their roles in worm biology.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Caspase proteases are principal mediators of apoptosis, where they cleave hundreds of proteins. Phosphorylation also plays an important role in apoptosis, although the extent to which proteolytic and phosphorylation pathways crosstalk during programmed cell death remains poorly understood. Using a quantitative proteomic platform that integrates phosphorylation sites into the topographical maps of proteins, we identify a cohort of over 500 apoptosis-specific phosphorylation events and show that they are enriched on cleaved proteins and clustered around sites of caspase proteolysis. We find that caspase cleavage can expose new sites for phosphorylation, and, conversely, that phosphorylation at the +3 position of cleavage sites can directly promote substrate proteolysis by caspase-8. This study provides a global portrait of the apoptotic phosphoproteome, revealing heretofore unrecognized forms of functional crosstalk between phosphorylation and caspase proteolytic pathways that lead to enhanced rates of protein cleavage and the unveiling of new sites for phosphorylation.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Cell
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    Gabriel M Simon · Jiye Cheng · Jeffrey I Gordon
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    ABSTRACT: The gut microbiota influences numerous aspects of human biology. One facet that has not been thoroughly explored is its impact on the host proteome. We hypothesized that the microbiota may produce certain of its effects through covalent modification of host proteins. We focused on protein lysine ε-acetylation because of its recently discovered roles in regulation of cell metabolism, and the potential for products of microbial fermentation to interact with the lysine acetylation machinery of host cells. Germ-free mice, fed a (15)N-labeled diet for two generations, were colonized as adults with a microbiota harvested from conventionally raised mouse donors. Using high-resolution mass spectrometry, we quantified 3,891 liver and proximal colonic proteins, 558 of which contained 1,602 sites of lysine acetylation, 43% not previously described. Multiple proteins from multiple subcellular compartments underwent microbiota-associated increases in their levels of lysine acetylation at one or more residues, in one or both tissues. Acetylated proteins were enriched in functions related to energy production, respiration, and primary metabolism. A number of the acetylation events affect lysine residues at or near the active sites of enzymes, whereas others occur at locations that may affect other facets of protein function. One of these modifications, affecting Lys292 in mouse α-1-antitrypsin, was detected in the corresponding lysine of the human serum protein. Methods described in this report can be applied to other co- or posttranslational modifications, and add quantitation of protein expression and covalent modification to the arsenal of techniques for characterizing the dynamic, important interactions between gut symbionts and their hosts.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Serine hydrolases (SHs) are one of the largest and most diverse enzyme classes in mammals. They play fundamental roles in virtually all physiological processes and are targeted by drugs to treat diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and neurodegenerative disorders. Despite this, we lack biological understanding for most of the 110+ predicted mammalian metabolic SHs, in large part because of a dearth of assays to assess their biochemical activities and a lack of selective inhibitors to probe their function in living systems. We show here that the vast majority (> 80%) of mammalian metabolic SHs can be labeled in proteomes by a single, active site-directed fluorophosphonate probe. We exploit this universal activity-based assay in a library-versus-library format to screen 70+ SHs against 140+ structurally diverse carbamates. Lead inhibitors were discovered for ∼40% of the screened enzymes, including many poorly characterized SHs. Global profiles identified carbamate inhibitors that discriminate among highly sequence-related SHs and, conversely, enzymes that share inhibitor sensitivity profiles despite lacking sequence homology. These findings indicate that sequence relatedness is not a strong predictor of shared pharmacology within the SH superfamily. Finally, we show that lead carbamate inhibitors can be optimized into pharmacological probes that inactivate individual SHs with high specificity in vivo.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2010 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Cysteine is the most intrinsically nucleophilic amino acid in proteins, where its reactivity is tuned to perform diverse biochemical functions. The absence of a consensus sequence that defines functional cysteines in proteins has hindered their discovery and characterization. Here we describe a proteomics method to profile quantitatively the intrinsic reactivity of cysteine residues en masse directly in native biological systems. Hyper-reactivity was a rare feature among cysteines and it was found to specify a wide range of activities, including nucleophilic and reductive catalysis and sites of oxidative modification. Hyper-reactive cysteines were identified in several proteins of uncharacterized function, including a residue conserved across eukaryotic phylogeny that we show is required for yeast viability and is involved in iron-sulphur protein biogenesis. We also demonstrate that quantitative reactivity profiling can form the basis for screening and functional assignment of cysteines in computationally designed proteins, where it discriminated catalytically active from inactive cysteine hydrolase designs.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · Nature
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    ABSTRACT: LDL receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) is an endocytic receptor, reported to regulate the abundance of other receptors in the plasma membrane, including uPAR and tissue factor. The goal of this study was to identify novel plasma membrane proteins, involved in cell-signaling, that are regulated by LRP1. Membrane protein ectodomains were prepared from RAW 264.7 cells in which LRP1 was silenced and control cells using protease K. Peptides were identified by LC-MS/MS. By analysis of spectral counts, 31 transmembrane and secreted proteins were regulated in abundance at least 2-fold when LRP1 was silenced. Validation studies confirmed that semaphorin4D (Sema4D), plexin domain-containing protein-1 (Plxdc1), and neuropilin-1 were more abundant in the membranes of LRP1 gene-silenced cells. Regulation of Plxdc1 by LRP1 was confirmed in CHO cells, as a second model system. Plxdc1 coimmunoprecipitated with LRP1 from extracts of RAW 264.7 cells and mouse liver. Although Sema4D did not coimmunoprecipitate with LRP1, the cell-surface level of Sema4D was increased by RAP, which binds to LRP1 and inhibits binding of other ligands. These studies identify Plxdc1, Sema4D, and neuropilin-1 as novel LRP1-regulated cell-signaling proteins. Overall, LRP1 emerges as a generalized regulator of the plasma membrane proteome.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2010 · Journal of Proteome Research
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    ABSTRACT: The obligate intracellular parasite pathogen Plasmodium falciparum is the causative agent of malaria, a disease that results in nearly one million deaths per year. A key step in disease pathology in the human host is the parasite-mediated rupture of red blood cells, a process that requires extensive proteolysis of a number of host and parasite proteins. However, only a relatively small number of specific proteolytic processing events have been characterized. Here we describe the application of the Protein Topography and Migration Analysis Platform (PROTOMAP) (Dix, M. M., Simon, G. M., and Cravatt, B. F. (2008) Global mapping of the topography and magnitude of proteolytic events in apoptosis. Cell 134, 679-691; Simon, G. M., Dix, M. M., and Cravatt, B. F. (2009) Comparative assessment of large-scale proteomic studies of apoptotic proteolysis. ACS Chem. Biol. 4, 401-408) technology to globally profile proteolytic events occurring over the last 6-8 h of the intraerythrocytic cycle of P. falciparum. Using this method, we were able to generate peptographs for a large number of proteins at 6 h prior to rupture as well as at the point of rupture and in purified merozoites after exit from the host cell. These peptographs allowed assessment of proteolytic processing as well as changes in both protein localization and overall stage-specific expression of a large number of parasite proteins. Furthermore, by using a highly selective inhibitor of the cysteine protease dipeptidyl aminopeptidase 3 (DPAP3) that has been shown to be a key regulator of host cell rupture, we were able to identify specific substrates whose processing may be of particular importance to the process of host cell rupture. These results provide the first global map of the proteolytic processing events that take place as the human malarial parasite extracts itself from the host red blood cell. These data also provide insight into the biochemical events that take place during host cell rupture and are likely to be valuable for the study of proteases that could potentially be targeted for therapeutic gain.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · Molecular & Cellular Proteomics
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    ABSTRACT: GDE1 is a mammalian glycerophosphodiesterase (GDE) implicated by in vitro studies in the regulation of glycerophophoinositol (GroPIns) and possibly other glycerophospho (GroP) metabolites. Here, we show using untargeted metabolomics that GroPIns is profoundly (>20-fold) elevated in brain tissue from GDE1(-/-) mice. Furthermore, two additional GroP metabolites not previously identified in eukaryotic cells, glycerophosphoserine (GroPSer) and glycerophosphoglycerate (GroPGate), were also highly elevated in GDE1(-/-) brains. Enzyme assays with synthetic GroP metabolites confirmed that GroPSer and GroPGate are direct substrates of GDE1. Interestingly, our metabolomic profiles also revealed that serine (both L-and D-) levels were significantly reduced in brains of GDE1(-/-) mice. These findings designate GroPSer as a previously unappreciated reservoir for free serine in the nervous system and suggest that GDE1, through recycling serine from GroPSer, may impact D-serine-dependent neural signaling processes in vivo.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · Chemistry & biology
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    Gabriel M Simon · Benjamin F Cravatt
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    ABSTRACT: The biosynthesis of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) and related N-acyl ethanolamine (NAE) lipids is complex and appears to involve multiple pathways, including: (1) direct release of NAEs from N-acyl phosphatidyl ethanolamine (NAPE) precursors by the phosphodiesterase NAPE-PLD, and (2) double O-deacylation of NAPEs followed by phosphodiester bond hydrolysis of the resulting glycero-phospho (GP)-NAEs. We recently identified GDE1 as a GP-NAE phosphodiesterase that may be involved in the second pathway. Here, we report the generation and characterization of GDE1(-/-) mice, which are viable and overtly normal in their cage behavior. Brain homogenates from GDE1(-/-) mice exhibit a near-complete loss of detectable GP-NAE phosphodiesterase activity; however, bulk brain levels of AEA and other NAEs were unaltered in these animals. To address the possibility of compensatory pathways, we generated GDE1(-/-)/NAPE-PLD(-/-) mice. Conversion of NAPE to NAE was virtually undetectable in brain homogenates from these animals as measured under standard assay conditions, but again, bulk changes in brain NAEs were not observed. Interestingly, significant reductions in the accumulation of brain NAEs, including anandamide, were detected in GDE1(-/-)/NAPE-PLD(-/-) mice treated with a fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor that blocks NAE degradation. Finally, we determined that primary neurons from GDE1(-/-)/NAPE-PLD(-/-) mice can convert NAPEs to NAEs by a pathway that is not preserved following cell homogenization. In summary, combined inactivation of GDE1 and NAPE-PLD results in partial disruption of NAE biosynthesis, while also pointing to the existence of an additional enzymatic pathway(s) that converts NAPEs to NAEs. Characterization of this pathway should provide clarity on the multifaceted nature of NAE biosynthesis.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2010 · Molecular BioSystems
  • Gabriel M Simon · Benjamin F Cravatt
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    ABSTRACT: Genome sequencing projects have uncovered thousands of uncharacterized enzymes in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. Deciphering the physiological functions of enzymes requires tools to profile and perturb their activities in native biological systems. Activity-based protein profiling has emerged as a powerful chemoproteomic strategy to achieve these objectives through the use of chemical probes that target large swaths of enzymes that share active-site features. Here, we review activity-based protein profiling and its implementation to annotate the enzymatic proteome, with particular attention given to probes that target serine hydrolases, a diverse superfamily of enzymes replete with many uncharacterized members.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2010 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Obesity is a worldwide epidemic, and severe obesity is a risk factor for many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. Endocannabinoid system (ECS) signaling in the brain and peripheral tissues is activated in obesity and plays a role in the regulation of body weight. The main research question here was whether quantitative measurement of plasma endocannabinoids, anandamide, and related N-acylethanolamines (NAEs), combined with genotyping for mutations in fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) would identify circulating biomarkers of ECS activation in severe obesity. Methodology/Principal Findings: Plasma samples were obtained from 96 severely obese subjects with body mass index (BMI) of ≥40 kg/m2, and 48 normal weight subjects with BMI of ≤26 kg/m2. Triple-quadrupole mass spectroscopy methods were used to measure plasma ECS analogs. Subjects were genotyped for human FAAH gene mutations. The principal analysis focused on the FAAH 385 C→A (P129T) mutation by comparing plasma ECS metabolite levels in the FAAH 385 minor A allele carriers versus wild-type C/C carriers in both groups. The main finding was significantly elevated mean plasma levels of anandamide (15.1±1.4 pmol/ml) and related NAEs in study subjects that carried the FAAH 385 A mutant alleles versus normal subjects (13.3±1.0 pmol/ml) with wild-type FAAH genotype (p = 0.04), and significance was maintained after controlling for BMI. Conclusions/Significance:Significantly increased levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide and related NAEs were found in carriers of the FAAH 385 A mutant alleles compared with wild-type FAAH controls. This evidence supports endocannabinoid system activation due to the effect of FAAH 385 mutant A genotype on plasma AEA and related NAE analogs. This is the first study to document that FAAH 385 A mutant alleles have a direct effect on elevated plasma levels of anandamide and related NAEs in
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2010 · PLoS ONE
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    Gabriel M Simon · Melissa M Dix · Benjamin F Cravatt
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    ABSTRACT: Two proteomic methods were recently introduced to globally map proteolytic cleavage events in biological systems, one that characterized proteolyzed proteins by differential gel migration (PROTOMAP) and the other by enzymatic tagging and enrichment of the nascent N-terminal peptides generated by proteolysis (Subtiligase). Both technologies were applied to apoptosis, and each uncovered hundreds of novel proteolytic events. An initial survey, however, revealed only minimal overlap in the two data sets. In this article, we perform an in-depth comparative analysis of the PROTOMAP and Subtiligase results that assimilates the complementary information acquired by each method. This analysis uncovered substantial agreement between the PROTOMAP and Subtiligase data sets, which in integrated form yield a highly enriched portrait of the proteome-wide impact of proteolysis in apoptosis. We discuss the respective strengths of each proteomic method and the potential for these technologies to expand the scope and sensitivity of large-scale studies of proteolysis in biological systems.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2009 · ACS Chemical Biology
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    Gabriel M Simon · Benjamin F Cravatt
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    ABSTRACT: As the field of chemical biology matures, its practitioners are tackling ever more sophisticated biological problems. Chemical approaches, both synthetic and analytical, provide researchers with powerful new technologies to perturb, dissect and even reconstruct complex biological systems. Here we discuss the special challenges and opportunities confronted at the burgeoning interface of chemical and systems biology.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2008 · Nature Chemical Biology
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    Melissa M Dix · Gabriel M Simon · Benjamin F Cravatt
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    ABSTRACT: Proteolysis is a key regulatory process that promotes the (in)activation, translocation, and/or degradation of proteins. As such, there is considerable interest in methods to comprehensively characterize proteolytic pathways in biological systems. Here, we describe a robust and versatile proteomic platform that enables direct visualization of the topography and magnitude of proteolytic events on a global scale. We use this method to generate a proteome-wide map of proteolytic events induced by the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. This profile contained 91 characterized caspase substrates as well as 170 additional proteins not previously known to be cleaved during apoptosis. Surprisingly, the vast majority of proteolyzed proteins, regardless of the extent of cleavage, yielded persistent fragments that correspond to discrete protein domains, suggesting that the generation of active effector proteins may be a principal function of apoptotic proteolytic cascades.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2008 · Cell
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    Eranthie Weerapana · Gabriel M Simon · Benjamin F Cravatt
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    ABSTRACT: Insights into the proteome reactivity of electrophiles are crucial for designing activity-based probes for enzymes lacking cognate affinity labels. Here, we show that different classes of carbon electrophiles exhibit markedly distinct amino acid labeling profiles in proteomes, ranging from selective reactivity with cysteine to adducts with several amino acids. These data specify electrophilic chemotypes with restricted and permissive reactivity profiles to guide the design of next-generation functional proteomics probes.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2008 · Nature Chemical Biology

Publication Stats

3k Citations
329.69 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006-2015
    • The Scripps Research Institute
      • • Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology
      • • Department of Chemical Physiology
      • • Department of Chemistry
      لا هویا, California, United States
  • 2014
    • Abide Therapeutics
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 2012-2014
    • Washington University in St. Louis
      San Luis, Missouri, United States