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0 Q&A 246 Views May 20, 2023

ATPase assays are a common tool for the characterization of purified ATPases. Here, we describe a radioactive [γ-32P]-ATP-based approach, utilizing complex formation with molybdate for phase separation of the free phosphate from non-hydrolyzed, intact ATP. The high sensitivity of this assay, compared to common assays such as the Malachite green or NADH-coupled assay, enables the examination of proteins with low ATPase activity or low purification yields. This assay can be used on purified proteins for several applications including the identification of substrates, determination of the effect of mutations on ATPase activity, and testing specific ATPase inhibitors. Furthermore, the protocol outlined here can be adapted to measure the activity of reconstituted ATPases.

Graphical overview

0 Q&A 291 Views Mar 5, 2023

Redox status assessments are time-consuming, require a large volume of samples and great reagent amounts, and are not adequately described for methodological reproducibility. Here, the objective was to standardize redox balance determination, based on previously described spectrophotometric tests in pregnant rats, to improve precision, time dispensed, and the volume of samples and reagents, while maintaining accuracy and adequate cost benefits. This protocol summarizes oxidative stress markers, which focus on spectrophotometric tests for the assessment of thiobarbituric acid–reactive substances, reduced thiol groups, and hydrogen peroxide, as well as the antioxidant activity of superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase in washed erythrocyte and serum samples from full-term pregnant rats. For non-pregnant rats and other species, it is necessary to standardize these determinations, especially the sample volume. All measurements were normalized by the estimated protein concentrations in each sample. To establish optimum conditions for the reproducibility of the proposed methods, we describe all changes made in each assay’s steps based on the reference method reassessed for the new standardizations. Furthermore, the calculations of the concentrations or activities of each marker are presented. Thus, we demonstrate that the analysis of serum samples is easier and faster, but it is impossible to detect catalase activity. Furthermore, the proposed methods can be applied for redox balance determination, especially using smaller reagent amounts and lower sample volumes in lesser time without losing accuracy, as is required in obtaining samples during rat pregnancy.

0 Q&A 359 Views Feb 5, 2023

Secreted reporters have been demonstrated to be simple and useful tools for analyzing transcriptional regulation in mammalian cells. The distinctive feature of these assays is the ability to detect reporter gene expression in the culture supernatant without affecting the cell physiology or leading to cell lysis, which allows repeated experimentation and sampling of the culture medium using the same cell cultures. Secreted embryonic alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) is one of the most widely used reporter, which can be easily detected using colorimetry following incubation with a substrate, such as p-nitrophenol phosphate. In this report, we present detailed procedures for detection and quantification of the SEAP reporter. We believe that this step-by-step protocol can be easily used by researchers to monitor and measure molecular genetic events in a variety of mammalian cells due to its simplicity and ease of handling.

Graphical abstract

Schematic overview of the workflow described in this protocol

0 Q&A 270 Views Dec 20, 2022

Several assays have been developed to monitor the in vitro catalytic activity of Hedgehog acyltransferase (Hhat), an enzyme critical to the Hedgehog signaling pathway in cells. However, the majority of these previously reported assays involve radioactive fatty acyl donor substrates, multiple steps to achieve product readout, or specialized equipment. To increase safety, efficiency, and convenience, we developed a direct, fluorescent in vitro assay to monitor Hhat activity. Our assay utilizes purified Hhat, a fluorescently labeled fatty acyl-CoA donor substrate, and a Sonic hedgehog (Shh) peptide recipient substrate sufficient for fatty acylation. The protocol is a straightforward process that yields direct readout of fatty acylated Shh peptide via fluorescence detection of the transferred fatty acyl group.

Graphical abstract

Graphical abstract adapted from Schonbrun and Resh (2022)

0 Q&A 669 Views Nov 5, 2022

Ubiquitination is a post-translational modification conserved across eukaryotic species. It contributes to a variety of regulatory pathways, including proteasomal degradation, DNA repair, and cellular differentiation. The ubiquitination of substrate proteins typically requires three ubiquitination enzymes: a ubiquitin-activating E1, a ubiquitin-conjugating E2, and an E3 ubiquitin ligase. Cooperation between E2s and E3s is required for substrate ubiquitination, but some ubiquitin-conjugating E2s are also able to catalyze by themselves the formation of free di-ubiquitin, independently or in cooperation with a ubiquitin E2 variant. Here, we describe a method for assessing (i) di-ubiquitin formation by an E1 together with an E2 and an E2 variant, and (ii) the cooperation of an E3 with an E1 and E2 (with or without the E2 variant). Reaction products are assessed using western blotting with one of two antibodies: the first detects all ubiquitin conjugates, while the second specifically recognizes K63-linked ubiquitin. This allows unambiguous identification of ubiquitinated species and assessment of whether K63 linkages are present. We have developed these methods for studying ubiquitination proteins of Leishmania mexicana, specifically the activities of the E2, UBC2, and the ubiquitin E2 variant UEV1, but we anticipate the assays to be applicable to other ubiquitination systems with UBC2/UEV1 orthologues.

0 Q&A 643 Views Oct 5, 2022

Here, we present the first quantitative method for the activity analysis of protealysin-like protease (PLP) inhibitors. This approach is based on a previously developed method for protealysin activity determination by hydrolysis of internally quenched fluorescent peptide substrate 2-aminobenzoyl-L-arginyl-L-seryl-L-valyl-L-isoleucyl-L-(ϵ-2,4-dinitrophenyl)lysine. In this protocol, we significantly reduced enzyme concentration and introduced some minor modifications to decrease variation between replicates. The protocol was validated using emfourin, a novel proteinaceous metalloprotease inhibitor. Data obtained demonstrates that the developed assay method is an affordable approach for characterizing and screening various PLP inhibitors.

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0 Q&A 1016 Views Sep 20, 2022

The activity of numerous autophagy-related proteins depends on their phosphorylation status, which places importance on understanding the responsible kinases and phosphatases. Great progress has been made in identifying kinases regulating autophagy, but much less is known about the phosphatases counteracting their function. Genetic screens and modern proteomic approaches provide powerful tools to identify candidate phosphatases, but further experiments are required to assign direct roles for candidates. We have devised a novel protocol to test the role of purified phosphatases in dephosphorylating specific targets in situ. This approach has the potential to visualize context-specific differences in target dephosphorylation that are not easily detected by lysate-based approaches such as Western blots.

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0 Q&A 1104 Views Sep 20, 2022

Disturbance of the dynamic balance between protein tyrosine phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, modulated by protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) and protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs), is known to be crucial for the development of many human diseases. The discovery of agents that restore this balance has been the subject of many drug research efforts, most of which have focused on tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), resulting in the development of more than 50 FDA-approved TKIs during the past two decades. More recently, accumulating evidence has suggested that members of the PTP superfamily are also promising drug targets, and efforts to discover tyrosine phosphatase inhibitors (TPIs) have increased dramatically. Here, we provide protocols for determining the potency of TPIs in vitro. We focus on the use of fluorescence-based substrates, which exhibit a dramatic increase in fluorescence emission when dephosphorylated by the PTP, and thus allow setting up highly sensitive and miniaturized phosphatase activity assays using 384-well or 1536-well microplates and a continuous (kinetic) assay format. The protocols cover PTP specific activity assays, Michaelis–Menten kinetics, dose-response inhibition assays, and dose-response data analysis for determining IC50 values. Potential pitfalls are also discussed. While advanced instrumentation is utilized for compound spotting and liquid dispensing, all the assays can be adapted to existing equipment in most laboratories. Assays are described for selected PTP drug targets, including SHP2 (PTPN11), PTP1B (PTPN1), STEP (PTPN5), and VHR (DUSP3). However, all protocols are applicable to members of the PTP enzyme family in general.

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0 Q&A 795 Views Sep 5, 2022

Human aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) isoforms are NAD(P)+-dependent enzymes catalyzing the oxidation of a wide spectrum of aldehydes to their corresponding carboxylic acids. ALDH families 1 and 3 are associated with stemness, chemoresistance, and tumor progression across multiple tumor types. ALDH2 is involved in ethanol metabolism, and its deficiency is associated with a wide range of diseases. This protocol includes a method for recombinant protein production and affinity purification under reducing conditions that apply to ALDH family 1 and 3 isoforms, to produce high yields of pure, catalytically active protein (10–30 mg/L of culture). It also includes their respective enzymatic activity assays, optimized and based on the fluorescence emission of NAD(P)H at 460 nm, using hexanal (for ALDH1A1, 1A2, 1A3, and 2) or p-nitrobenzaldehyde (for ALDH3A1) as a substrate. These assays offer higher sensitivity than common UV-visible spectrophotometry and avoid interference of compounds that mask NAD(P)H absorption at 340 nm. The protocol could be adapted to high-throughput screenings using a fluorescent microplate reader. Not a single protocol existed in the literature that comprehensively addressed the methodology entailed in the production, purification, and fluorometric activity assays of the five isoforms. This standardized protocol, allowing a side-by-side comparison between the various isoforms and studies, is filling the gap and supersedes previously partial and scattered methodological information, representing an important contribution to the field. Here, high amounts of pure, soluble, stable, and catalytically active protein are obtained, which are suitable for crystallization trials and for the identification and characterization of substrates and inhibitors with therapeutic potential in the diagnostic and treatment of cancer and other diseases.

0 Q&A 1344 Views Apr 5, 2022

In Arabidopsis, DICER-LIKE PROTEIN 3 (DCL3) cuts the substrate pre-siRNA into a product siRNA duplex, encompassing one 23-nt strand and one 24-nt strand. To monitor the separation of the siRNA duplex with only 1-nt difference, we developed this protocol to evaluate the in vitro dicing activity of DCL3. The method can be applied for measuring the lengths of single-stranded RNA separated through denaturing urea polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (urea PAGE), which are visualized by a label-free fluorescence SYBR Gold, and quantified in a multi-function imager. This label-free method is easy to conduct, has low cost, and lacks the hazard of the traditional radio-labeled method. This method can also be adapted to the other Dicers and small RNAs.

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