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Chem Biol Interact. 2007 Jun 30;168(2):117-27. Epub 2007 Mar 19.

Analysis of protein adduction kinetics by quantitative mass spectrometry: competing adduction reactions of glutathione-S-transferase P1-1 with electrophiles.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.


Defining the mechanisms and consequences of protein adduction is crucial to understanding the toxicity of reactive electrophiles. Application of tandem mass spectrometry and data analysis algorithms enables detection and mapping of chemical adducts at the level of amino acid sequence. Nevertheless, detection of adducts does not indicate relative reactivity of different sites. Here, we describe a method to measure the kinetics of competing adduction reactions at different sites on the same protein. Adducts are formed by electrophiles at Cys14 and Cys47 on the metabolic enzyme glutathione-S-transferase P1-1 and modification is accompanied by a loss of enzymatic activity. Relative quantitation of protein adducts was done by tagging N-termini of peptide digests with isotopically labeled phenyl isocyanate and tracking the ratio of light-tagged peptide adducts to heavy-tagged reference samples in liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analyses using a multiple reaction monitoring method. This approach was used to measure rate constants for adduction at both positions with two different model electrophiles, N-iodoacetyl-N-biotinylhexylenediamine and 1-biotinamido-4-(4'-[maleimidoethyl-cyclohexane]-carboxamido)butane. The results indicate that Cys47 was approximately two- to three-fold more reactive toward both electrophiles than was Cys14. This result was consistent with the relative reactivity of these electrophiles in a complex proteome system and with previously reported trends in reactivity of these sites. Kinetic analyses of protein modification reactions provide a means of evaluating the selectivity of reactive mediators of chemical toxicity.

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