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Anal Chem. 2003 May 1;75(9):2159-65.

Quantitative chemical proteomics for identifying candidate drug targets.

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Laboratory of Seeds Finding Technology, Eisai Co., Ltd, Tokodai 5-1-3, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 300-2635, Japan.


We have developed a systematic strategy for drug target identification. This consists of the following sequential steps: (1) enrichment of total binding proteins using two differential affinity matrixes upon which are immobilized positive and negative chemical structures for drug activity, respectively; (2) covalent labeling of the proteins with a new cleavable isotope-coded affinity tag (ICAT) reagent, followed by proteolysis of the combined proteins; (3) isolation, identification, and relative quantification of the tagged peptides by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry; (4) array-based transcription profiling to select candidate proteins; and (5) confirmation of direct interaction between the activity-associated structure and the selected proteins by using surface plasmon resonance. We present a typical application to identify the primary binding protein of a novel class of anticancer agents exemplified by E7070. Our results suggest that this approach provides a new aspect of quantitative proteomics to find specific binding proteins from protein mixture and should be applicable to a wide variety of biologically active small molecules with unidentified target proteins.

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