Protocols in Current Issue
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0 Q&A 1741 Views Oct 20, 2022

The core planar cell polarity (PCP) protein Vang/Vangl, including Vangl1 and Vangl2 in vertebrates, is indispensable during development. Our previous studies showed that the activity of Vangl is tightly controlled by two important posttranslational modifications, ubiquitination and phosphorylation. Vangl is ubiquitinated through an endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway and is phosphorylated by casein kinase 1 (CK1) in response to Wnt. Here, we present step-by-step procedures to analyze Vangl ubiquitination and phosphorylation, including cell culture, transfection, sample preparation, and signal detection, as well as the use of newly available phospho-specific antibodies to detect Wnt-induced Vangl2 phosphorylation. The protocol described here can be applicable to the analysis of posttranslational modifications of other membrane proteins.

0 Q&A 2346 Views Jul 20, 2021

Understanding the folding pathway of any protein is of utmost importance for deciphering the folding problems under adverse conditions. We can obtain important information about the folding pathway by monitoring the folding of any protein from its unfolded state. It is usually very difficult to monitor the folding process in real time as the process is generally very fast, and we need a suitable read out. In this protocol, we have solved this issue by using a protein that is non-fluorescent in its unfolded state but fluoresces in its native state after folding. The kinetics of refolding can be monitored by following the increase in fluorescence in real time. Previously, this was generally achieved by either monitoring a protein’s enzymatic activity or measuring the tryptophan fluorescence, where the signal output depends on well-described enzymatic activity or the frequency of tryptophan residues present in the proteins, respectively. Here, we describe a simple and real-time assay to monitor the refolding of sGFP, a recently described slow-folding mutant of yeGFP (yeast enhanced GFP). We unfold this protein using chemical denaturant and refold in a suitable buffer, monitoring the increase in fluorescence over time. GFP is fluorescent only when correctly folded; thus, using this technique, we can measure the true rate of protein refolding by following the increase in fluorescence over time. Therefore, sGFP can be used as an ideal model to study the in vitro protein folding process. Accordingly, the effects of different conditions and molecules on the protein folding pathway can be efficiently studied using sGFP as a model protein.

Graphical abstract:

Schematic of the steps involved in the sGFP refolding pathway. Native sGFP is unfolded by chemical denaturation using 6 M GuHCl at 25°C for 1 hour and then refolded in refolding buffer by 100-fold dilution.

0 Q&A 2392 Views Dec 20, 2020

Small molecules that react to form covalent bonds with proteins are widely used as biological tools and therapeutic agents. Screening cysteine-reactive fragments against a protein target is an efficient way to identify chemical starting points for covalent probe development. Mass spectrometry is often used to identify the site and degree of covalent fragment binding. However, robust hit identification requires characterization of the kinetics of covalent binding that can be readily achieved using quantitative irreversible tethering. This screening platform uses a non-specific cysteine-reactive fluorogenic probe to monitor the rate of reaction between covalent fragments and cysteine containing biomolecules. Fragment libraries are simultaneously screened against the target protein and glutathione, which functions as a control, to identify hit fragments with kinetic selectivity for covalent modification of the target. Screening by quantitative irreversible tethering accounts for variations in the intrinsic reactivity of individual fragments enabling robust hit identification and ranking.

0 Q&A 3892 Views Sep 20, 2020
Highly sensitive quantitative protein profiling can play a key role in the early diagnosis of diseases, such as autoimmune diseases and cancer. We developed a modified protein-oligonucleotide conjugation method termed HaloTag-mediated barcoding, for quantifying protein molecules at a higher sensitivity than conventional protein quantification methods. This novel and efficient conjugation method can be used to prepare HaloTag-barcoded proteins using a click chemistry-based labeling technique. Here, we describe the preparation of protein-DNA complexes and detection of protein-protein interactions which can be used in a HaloTag protein barcode assay to detect an antibody. The protocol includes procedures for preparing the ligand-oligonucleotide complex, plasmid DNA preparation for protein expression, and preparation of the protein-oligonucleotide complex. The described click reaction-based protocols simplify the conventional amine-ester reaction methods which require additional steps for chromatography purification.
1 Q&A 6048 Views Jun 5, 2019
Thiol-based redox regulation is a posttranslational protein modification that plays a key role in many biological aspects. To understand its regulatory functions, we need a method to directly assess protein redox state in vivo. Here we present a simple procedure to determine protein redox state in a model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Our method consists of three key steps: (i) redox fixation by rapidly freezing plant tissues in the liquid nitrogen, (ii) labeling of thiol groups with the maleimide reagent, and (iii) protein detection by Western blotting. The redox state of a specific or given protein can be discriminated by the mobility change on SDS-PAGE with high sensitivity. This method provides a novel strategy to dissect the working dynamics of the redox-regulatory system in plants.
0 Q&A 5338 Views Mar 5, 2019
Thiol-disulfide exchange is a key posttranslational modification, determining the folding process of intra- and inter-protein structures. Thiols can be detected by colorimetric reagents, which are stoichiometrically reduced by free thiols, and by fluorescent adducts, showing fluorescence only after thioester formation. We adapted a simple three-step method for detection of disulfide bonds in proteins. After irreversible blocking of protein thiols, disulfide bonds are reduced, followed by the detection of thiols. The approach presented here provides an economical procedure that can be used to obtain a global overview of the thiol-disulfide status of proteins in plants. This method allows the detection of modifications in samples on a gel and can be used for semi-quantitative analysis.
0 Q&A 7615 Views Dec 20, 2018
After silk fiber is degummed in boiling 0.2% Na2CO3 solution, the degummed fibroin fiber could be dissolved in highly concentrated neutral salts such as CaCl2. The partially degraded polypeptides of silk fibroin, commonly called as regenerated liquid silk, could be obtained via water dialysis. The silk fibroin nanoparticles (SFNs) or enzyme-entrapped SFNs are prepared rapidly from the liquid silk by using acetone. The globular particles with a range of 35-125 nm in diameter, are water-insoluble but well dispersed and stable in aqueous solution. The nanoparticles are potentially useful in biomaterials such as cosmetics, anti-UV skincare products, and surface improving materials, especially in enzyme/drug delivery system as vehicle. Here, a detailed protocol for SFNs and enzyme-entrapped SFNs preparation is described.
0 Q&A 6068 Views Oct 5, 2018
The Small Ubiquitin-related Modifier (SUMO) is a protein that is post-translationally added to and reversibly removed from other proteins in eukaryotic cells. SUMO and enzymes of the SUMO pathway are well conserved from yeast to humans and SUMO modification regulates a variety of essential cellular processes including transcription, chromatin remodeling, DNA damage repair, and cell cycle progression. One of the challenges in studying SUMO modification in vivo is the relatively low steady-state level of a SUMO-modified protein due in part to the activity of SUMO deconjugating enzymes known as SUMO Isopeptidases or SENPs. Fortunately, the use of recombinant SUMO enzymes makes it possible to study SUMO modification in vitro. Here, we describe a sensitive method for detecting SUMO modification of target human proteins using an in vitro transcription and translation system derived from rabbit reticulocyte and radiolabeled amino acids.
0 Q&A 7140 Views Sep 20, 2018
Histone post-translational modifications (PTMs) regulate numerous cellular processes, including gene transcription, cell division, and DNA damage repair. Most histone PTMs affect the recruitment or exclusion of reader proteins from chromatin. Here, we present a protocol to measure affinity and interaction kinetics between histone peptides and the recombinant protein using Bio-layer interferometry.
0 Q&A 5304 Views Jun 5, 2018
We recently investigated the molecular events that drive evolution of the CTX-M-type β-lactamases by DNA shuffling of fragments of the blaCTX-M-14 and blaCTX-M-15 genes. Analysis of a total of 51 hybrid enzymes showed that enzymatic activity could be maintained in most cases, yet the enzymatically active hybrids were found to possess much fewer amino acid substitutions than the few hybrids that became inactive, suggesting that point mutations in the constructs rather than reshuffling of the fragments of the two target genes would more likely cause disruption of CTX-M activity. Certain important residues that played important functional roles in mediating enzyme activity were identified. These findings suggest that DNA shuffling is an effective approach to identify and characterize important functional domains in bacterial proteins.

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