ABSTRACT: This protocol describes targetable reactive electrophiles and oxidants (T-REX)-a live-cell-based tool designed to (i) interrogate the consequences of specific and time-resolved redox events, and (ii) screen for bona fide redox-sensor targets. A small-molecule toolset comprising photocaged precursors to specific reactive redox signals is constructed such that these inert precursors specifically and irreversibly tag any HaloTag-fused protein of interest (POI) in mammalian and Escherichia coli cells. Syntheses of the alkyne-functionalized endogenous reactive signal 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE(alkyne)) and the HaloTag-targetable photocaged precursor to HNE(alkyne) (also known as Ht-PreHNE or HtPHA) are described. Low-energy light prompts photo-uncaging (t1/2 <1-2 min) and target-specific modification. The targeted modification of the POI enables precisely timed and spatially controlled redox events with no off-target modification. Two independent pathways are described, along with a simple setup to functionally validate known targets or discover novel sensors. T-REX sidesteps mixed responses caused by uncontrolled whole-cell swamping with reactive signals. Modification and downstream response can be analyzed by in-gel fluorescence, proteomics, qRT-PCR, immunofluorescence, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based and dual-luciferase reporters, or flow cytometry assays. T-REX targeting takes 4 h from initial probe treatment. Analysis of targeted redox responses takes an additional 4-24 h, depending on the nature of the pathway and the type of readouts used.
Project description:Lipid-derived electrophiles (LDEs) that can directly modify proteins have emerged as important small-molecule cues in cellular decision-making. However, because these diffusible LDEs can modify many targets [e.g., >700 cysteines are modified by the well-known LDE 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE)], establishing the functional consequences of LDE modification on individual targets remains devilishly difficult. Whether LDE modifications on a single protein are biologically sufficient to activate discrete redox signaling response downstream also remains untested. Herein, using T-REX (targetable reactive electrophiles and oxidants), an approach aimed at selectively flipping a single redox switch in cells at a precise time, we show that a modest level (?34%) of HNEylation on a single target is sufficient to elicit the pharmaceutically important antioxidant response element (ARE) activation, and the resultant strength of ARE induction recapitulates that observed from whole-cell electrophilic perturbation. These data provide the first evidence that single-target LDE modifications are important individual events in mammalian physiology.
Project description:Bioorthogonal reactions, including the strain-promoted azide-alkyne cycloaddition (SPAAC) and inverse electron demand Diels-Alder (iEDDA) reactions, have become increasingly popular for live-cell imaging applications. However, the stability and reactivity of reagents has never been systematically explored in the context of a living cell. Here we report a universal, organelle-targetable system based on HaloTag protein technology for directly comparing bioorthogonal reagent reactivity, specificity, and stability using clickable HaloTag ligands in various subcellular compartments. This system enabled a detailed comparison of the bioorthogonal reactions in live cells and informed the selection of optimal reagents and conditions for live-cell imaging studies. We found that the reaction of sTCO with monosubstituted tetrazines is the fastest reaction in cells; however, both reagents have stability issues. To address this, we introduced a new variant of sTCO, Ag-sTCO, which has much improved stability and can be used directly in cells for rapid bioorthogonal reactions with tetrazines. Utilization of Ag complexes of conformationally strained trans-cyclooctenes should greatly expand their usefulness especially when paired with less reactive, more stable tetrazines.
Project description:The production of reactive species contributes to the age-dependent accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria and protein aggregates, all of which are associated with neurodegeneration. A putative mediator of these effects is the lipid peroxidation product 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE), which has been shown to inhibit mitochondrial function, and accumulate in the postmortem brains of patients with neurodegenerative diseases. This deterioration in mitochondrial quality could be due to direct effects on mitochondrial proteins, or through perturbation of the macroautophagy/autophagy pathway, which plays an essential role in removing damaged mitochondria. Here, we use a click chemistry-based approach to demonstrate that alkyne-4-HNE can adduct to specific mitochondrial and autophagy-related proteins. Furthermore, we found that at lower concentrations (5-10 ?M), 4-HNE activates autophagy, whereas at higher concentrations (15 ?M), autophagic flux is inhibited, correlating with the modification of key autophagy proteins at higher concentrations of alkyne-4-HNE. Increasing concentrations of 4-HNE also cause mitochondrial dysfunction by targeting complex V (the ATP synthase) in the electron transport chain, and induce significant changes in mitochondrial fission and fusion protein levels, which results in alterations to mitochondrial network length. Finally, inhibition of autophagy initiation using 3-methyladenine (3MA) also results in a significant decrease in mitochondrial function and network length. These data show that both the mitochondria and autophagy are critical targets of 4-HNE, and that the proteins targeted by 4-HNE may change based on its concentration, persistently driving cellular dysfunction.
Project description:In-depth chemical understanding of complex biological processes hinges upon the ability to systematically perturb individual systems. However, current approaches to study impacts of biologically relevant reactive small molecules involve bathing of the entire cell or isolated organelle with excess amounts, leading to off-target effects. The resultant lack of biochemical specificity has plagued our understanding of how biological electrophiles mediate signal transduction or regulate responses that confer defense mechanisms to cellular electrophilic stress. Here we introduce a target-specific electrophile delivery platform that will ultimately pave the way to interrogate effects of reactive electrophiles on specific target proteins in cells. The new methodology is demonstrated by photoinducible targeted delivery of 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE) to the proteins Keap1 and PTEN. Covalent conjugation of the HNE-precursor to HaloTag fused to the target proteins enables directed HNE delivery upon photoactivation. The strategy provides proof of concept of selective delivery of reactive electrophiles to individual electrophile-responsive proteins in mammalian cells. It opens a new avenue enabling more precise determination of the pathophysiological consequences of HNE-induced chemical modifications on specific target proteins in cells.
Project description:Redox imbalance in cells induces lipid peroxidation and generates a class of highly reactive metabolites known as lipid-derived electrophiles (LDEs) that can modify proteins and affects their functions. Identifying targets of LDEs is critical to understand how such modifications are functionally implicated in oxidative-stress associated diseases. Here we report a quantitative chemoproteomic method to globally profile protein targets and sites modified by LDEs. In this strategy, we designed and synthesized an alkyne-functionalized aminooxy probe to react with LDE-modified proteins for imaging and proteomic profiling. Using this probe, we successfully quantified >4000 proteins modified by 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE) of high confidence in mammalian cell lysate and combined with a tandem-orthogonal proteolysis activity-based protein profiling (TOP-ABPP) strategy, we identified ~400 residue sites targeted by HNE including reactive cysteines in peroxiredoxins, an important family of enzymes with anti-oxidant roles. Our method expands the toolbox to quantitatively profile protein targets of endogenous electrophiles and the enlarged inventory of LDE-modified proteins and sites will contribute to functional elucidation of cellular pathways affected by oxidative stress.
Project description:Platelet aggregation is an essential response to tissue injury and is associated with activation of pro-oxidant enzymes, such as cyclooxygenase, and is also a highly energetic process. The two central energetic pathways in the cell, glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, are susceptible to damage by reactive lipid species. Interestingly, how platelet metabolism is affected by the oxidative stress associated with aggregation is largely unexplored. To address this issue, we examined the response of human platelets to 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE), a reactive lipid species which is generated during thrombus formation and during oxidative stress. Elevated plasma 4-HNE has been associated with renal failure, septic shock and cardiopulmonary bypass surgery. In this study, we found that 4-HNE decreased thrombin stimulated platelet aggregation by approximately 60%. The metabolomics analysis demonstrated that underlying our previous observation of a stimulation of platelet energetics by thrombin glycolysis and TCA (Tricarboxylic acid) metabolites were increased. Next, we assessed the effect of both 4-HNE and alkyne HNE (A-HNE) on bioenergetics and targeted metabolomics, and found a stimulatory effect on glycolysis, associated with inhibition of bioenergetic parameters. In the presence of HNE and thrombin glycolysis was further stimulated but the levels of the TCA metabolites were markedly suppressed. Identification of proteins modified by A-HNE followed by click chemistry and mass spectrometry revealed essential targets in platelet activation including proteins involved in metabolism, adhesion, cytoskeletal reorganization, aggregation, vesicular transport, protein folding, antioxidant proteins, and small GTPases. In summary, the biological effects of 4-HNE can be more effectively explained in platelets by the integrated effects of the modification of an electrophile responsive proteome rather than the isolated effects of candidate proteins.
Project description:Despite the known propensity of small-molecule electrophiles to react with numerous cysteine-active proteins, biological actions of individual signal inducers have emerged to be chemotype-specific. To pinpoint and quantify the impacts of modifying one target out of the whole proteome, we develop a target-protein-personalized "electrophile toolbox" with which specific intracellular targets can be selectively modified at a precise time by specific reactive signals. This general methodology, T-REX (targetable reactive electrophiles and oxidants), is established by (1) constructing a platform that can deliver a range of electronic and sterically different bioactive lipid-derived signaling electrophiles to specific proteins in cells; (2) probing the kinetics of targeted delivery concept, which revealed that targeting efficiency in cells is largely driven by initial on-rate of alkylation; and (3) evaluating the consequences of protein-target- and small-molecule-signal-specific modifications on the strength of downstream signaling. These data show that T-REX allows quantitative interrogations into the extent to which the Nrf2 transcription factor-dependent antioxidant response element (ARE) signaling is activated by selective electrophilic modifications on Keap1 protein, one of several redox-sensitive regulators of the Nrf2-ARE axis. The results document Keap1 as a promiscuous electrophile-responsive sensor able to respond with similar efficiencies to discrete electrophilic signals, promoting comparable strength of Nrf2-ARE induction. T-REX is also able to elicit cell activation in cases in which whole-cell electrophile flooding fails to stimulate ARE induction prior to causing cytotoxicity. The platform presents a previously unavailable opportunity to elucidate the functional consequences of small-molecule-signal- and protein-target-specific electrophilic modifications in an otherwise unaffected cellular background.
Project description:Posttranslational modifications (PTMs) are the lingua franca of cellular communication. Most PTMs are enzyme-orchestrated. However, the reemergence of electrophilic drugs has ushered mining of unconventional/non-enzyme-catalyzed electrophile-signaling pathways. Despite the latest impetus toward harnessing kinetically and functionally privileged cysteines for electrophilic drug design, identifying these sensors remains challenging. Herein, we designed "G-REX"-a technique that allows controlled release of reactive electrophiles in vivo. Mitigating toxicity/off-target effects associated with uncontrolled bolus exposure, G-REX tagged first-responding innate cysteines that bind electrophiles under true kcat/Km conditions. G-REX identified two allosteric ubiquitin-conjugating proteins-Ube2V1/Ube2V2-sharing a novel privileged-sensor-cysteine. This non-enzyme-catalyzed-PTM triggered responses specific to each protein. Thus, G-REX is an unbiased method to identify novel functional cysteines. Contrasting conventional active-site/off-active-site cysteine-modifications that regulate target activity, modification of Ube2V2 allosterically hyperactivated its enzymatically active binding-partner Ube2N, promoting K63-linked client ubiquitination and stimulating H2AX-dependent DNA damage response. This work establishes Ube2V2 as a Rosetta-stone bridging redox and ubiquitin codes to guard genome integrity.
Project description:The protein targets and sites of modification by 4-hydroxy-2(E)-nonenal (HNE) in human monocytic THP-1 cells after exogenous exposure to HNE were examined using a multipronged proteomic approach involving electrophoretic, immunoblotting, and mass spectrometric methods. Immunoblot analysis using monoclonal anti-HNE antibodies showed several proteins as targets of HNE adduction. Pretreatment of THP-1 cells with ascorbic acid resulted in reduced levels of HNE-protein adducts. Biotinylation of Michael-type HNE adducts using an aldehyde-reactive hydroxylamine-functionalized probe (aldehyde-reactive probe, ARP) and subsequent enrichment facilitated the identification and site-specific assignment of the modifications by LC-MS/MS analysis. Sixteen proteins were unequivocally identified as targets of HNE adduction, and eighteen sites of HNE modification at Cys and His residues were assigned. HNE exposure of THP-1 cells resulted in the modification of proteins involved in cytoskeleton organization and regulation, proteins associated with stress responses, and enzymes of the glycolytic and other metabolic pathways. This study yielded the first evidence of site-specific adduction of HNE to Cys-295 in tubulin alpha-1B chain, Cys-351 and Cys-499 in alpha-actinin-4, Cys-328 in vimentin, Cys-369 in D-3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase, and His-246 in aldolase A.