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Biol Chem. 2004 Jun;385(6):493-504.

Protease degradomics: mass spectrometry discovery of protease substrates and the CLIP-CHIP, a dedicated DNA microarray of all human proteases and inhibitors.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z3, Canada.


The biological role of most proteases in vivo is largely unknown. Therefore, to develop robust techniques to analyze the protease degradome in cells and tissues and to elucidate their substrate degradomes we have developed a dedicated and complete human protease and inhibitor microarray that we have called the CLIP-CHIP Oligonucleotides (70-mers) for identifying all 715 human proteases, inactive homologs and inhibitors were spotted in triplicate onto glass slides with a dedicated subarray containing oligonucleotides for specific human breast carcinoma genes. Initial analyses revealed the elevated expression of a number of proteases in invasive ductal cell carcinoma including ADAMTS17, carboxypeptidases A5 and M, tryptase-gamma and matriptase-2. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) showed a restricted expression pattern in both normal and cancerous breast tissues with most expressed at low levels. However, of the several MMPs expressed in significant quantities, the carcinoma samples showed only slightly elevated amounts other than for MMP-28 which was strongly elevated. To discover new protease substrates we developed a novel yeast two-hybrid approach we term 'inactive catalytic domain capture' (ICDC). Here, an inactive mutant protease catalytic domain lacking the propeptide was used as a yeast two hybrid bait to screen a human fibroblast cDNA library for interactor proteins as a substrate trap. Wnt-induced signaling protein-2 (WISP-2) was identified by ICDC and was biochemically confirmed as a new MMP substrate. In another approach we used isotope-coded affinity tag (ICAT) labeling with tandem mass spectrometry to quantitate the levels of secreted or shed extracellular proteins in MDA-MB-231 breast carcinoma cell cultures in the presence or absence of membrane type 1-MMP (MT1-MMP) overexpression. By this proteomic approach we identified and biochemically confirmed that IL-8, the serine protease inhibitor SLPI, the death receptor-6, pro-TNF-alpha and CTGF are novel substrates of MT1-MMP. The utility and quantitative nature of ICAT with MS/MS analysis as a new screen for protease substrate discovery based on detection of cleaved or shed substrate products should be readily adaptable to other classes of protease for assessing proteolytic function in a cellular context.

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