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Nat Protoc. 2009;4(12):1820-7. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2009.194.

Global identification of protein kinase substrates by protein microarray analysis.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.


Herein, we describe a protocol for the global identification of in vitro substrates targeted by protein kinases using protein microarray technology. Large numbers of fusion proteins tagged at their carboxy-termini are purified in 96-well format and spotted in duplicate onto amino-silane-coated slides in a spatially addressable manner. These arrays are incubated in the presence of purified kinase and radiolabeled ATP, and then washed, dried and analyzed by autoradiography. The extent of phosphorylation of each spot is quantified and normalized, and proteins that are reproducibly phosphorylated in the presence of the active kinase relative to control slides are scored as positive substrates. This approach enables the rapid determination of kinase-substrate relationship on a proteome-wide scale, and although developed using yeast, has since been adapted to higher eukaryotic systems. Expression, purification and printing of the yeast proteome require about 3 weeks. Afterwards, each kinase assay takes approximately 3 h to perform.

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