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Biotechniques. 2007 Jan;42(1):63-9.

Use of intein-mediated phosphoprotein arrays to study substrate specificity of protein phosphatases.

Author information

1
New England Biolabs, Inc., Ipswich, MA 01938-2723, USA.

Abstract

Synthetic peptides incorporating various chemical moieties, for example, phosphate groups, are convenient tools for investigating protein modification enzymes, such as protein phosphatases (PPs). However, short peptides are sometimes poor substrates, and their binding to commonly used matrices is unpredictable and variable. In general, protein substrates for PPs are superior for enzymatic assays, binding to various matrices, and Western blot analysis. The preparation and characterization of phosphoproteins, however can be difficult and technically demanding. In this study, the intein-mediated protein ligation (IPL) technique was used to readily generate phosphorylated protein substrates by ligating a synthetic phosphopeptide to an intein-generated carrier protein (CP) possessing a carboxyl-terminal thioester with a one-to-one stoichiometry. The ligated phosphoprotein (LPP) substrate was treated with a PP and subsequently subjected to array or Western blot analysis with a phospho-specific antibody. This approach is highly effective in producing arrays of protein substrates containing phosphorylated amino acid residues and has been applied for screening of PPs with specificity toward phosphorylated tyrosine, serine, or threonine residues, resulting in an approximately 240-fold increase in sensitivity in dot blot analysis compared with the use of synthetic peptides. The IPL technique overcomes the disadvantages of current methods and is a versatile system for the facile production of protein substrates containing well-defined structural motifs for the study of protein modification enzymes.

PMID:
17269486
DOI:
10.2144/000112311
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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