Real-Time and Label-Free Measurement of Deubiquitinase Activity with a MspA Nanopore.
ABSTRACT: Covalently attaching ubiquitin (Ub) to cellular proteins as a post-translational modification can result in altered function of modified proteins. Enzymes regulating Ub as a post-translational modification, such as ligases and deubiquitinases, are challenging to characterize in part due to the low throughput of in-vitro assays. Single-molecule nanopore based assays have the advantage of detecting proteins with high specificity and resolution, and in a label-free, real-time fashion. Here we demonstrate the use of a MspA nanopore for discriminating and quantifying Ub proteins. We further applied the MspA pore to measure the Ub-chain disassembly activity of UCH37, a proteasome associated deubiquitinase. The implementation of this MspA system into nanopore arrays could enable high throughput characterizations of unknown deubiquitinases as well as drug screening against disease related enzymes.
Project description:Mycobacterium smegmatis porin A (MspA) forms an octameric channel and represents the founding member of a new family of pore proteins. Control of subunit stoichiometry is important to tailor MspA for nanotechnological applications. In this study, two MspA monomers were connected by linkers ranging from 17 to 62 amino acids in length. The oligomeric pore proteins were purified from M. smegmatis and were shown to form functional channels in lipid bilayer experiments. These results indicated that the peptide linkers did not prohibit correct folding and localization of MspA. However, expression levels were reduced by 10-fold compared to wild-type MspA. MspA is ideal for nanopore sequencing due to its unique pore geometry and its robustness. To assess the usefulness of MspA made from dimeric subunits for DNA sequencing, we linked two M1-MspA monomers, whose constriction zones were modified to enable DNA translocation. Lipid bilayer experiments demonstrated that this construct also formed functional channels. Voltage gating of MspA pores made from M1 monomers and M1-M1 dimers was identical indicating similar structural and dynamic channel properties. Glucose uptake in M. smegmatis cells lacking porins was restored by expressing the dimeric mspA M1 gene indicating correct folding and localization of M1-M1 pores in their native membrane. Single-stranded DNA hairpins produced identical ionic current blockades in pores made from monomers and subunit dimers demonstrating that M1-M1 pores are suitable for DNA sequencing. This study provides the proof of principle that production of single-chain MspA pores in M. smegmatis is feasible and paves the way for generating MspA pores with altered stoichiometries. Subunit dimers enable better control of the chemical and physical properties of the constriction zone of MspA. This approach will be valuable both in understanding transport across the outer membrane in mycobacteria and in tailoring MspA for nanopore sequencing of DNA.
Project description:Nanopore sequencing has the potential to become a direct, fast, and inexpensive DNA sequencing technology. The simplest form of nanopore DNA sequencing utilizes the hypothesis that individual nucleotides of single-stranded DNA passing through a nanopore will uniquely modulate an ionic current flowing through the pore, allowing the record of the current to yield the DNA sequence. We demonstrate that the ionic current through the engineered Mycobacterium smegmatis porin A, MspA, has the ability to distinguish all four DNA nucleotides and resolve single-nucleotides in single-stranded DNA when double-stranded DNA temporarily holds the nucleotides in the pore constriction. Passing DNA with a series of double-stranded sections through MspA provides proof of principle of a simple DNA sequencing method using a nanopore. These findings highlight the importance of MspA in the future of nanopore sequencing.
Project description:The porin MspA of Mycobacterium smegmatis is a biological nanopore used for DNA sequencing. The octameric MspA pore can be isolated from M. smegmatis in milligram quantities, is extremely stable against denaturation and rapidly inserts into lipid membranes. Here, we show that MspA pores composed of different Msp subunits are formed in M. smegmatis and that hetero-oligomers of different Msp monomers increase the heterogeneity of MspA pores designed for DNA sequencing. To improve the quality of preparations of mutant MspA proteins, all four msp genes were deleted from the M. smegmatis genome after insertion of an inducible porin gene from M. tuberculosis. In the msp quadruple mutant M. smegmatis ML712 no Msp porins were detected and mutant MspA proteins were produced at wild-type levels. Lipid bilayer experiments demonstrated that MspA pores isolated from ML712 formed functional channels and had a narrower conductance distribution than pores purified from M. smegmatis with background msp expression. Thus, the M. smegmatis msp quadruple mutant improves the homogeneity of MspA pores designed for DNA sequencing and might also facilitate the identification and functional characterization of other mycobacterial pore proteins.
Project description:Nanopore DNA sequencing is a promising single-molecule analysis technology. This technique relies on a DNA motor enzyme to control movement of DNA precisely through a nanopore. Specific experimental buffer conditions are required based on the preferred operating conditions of the DNA motor enzyme. While many DNA motor enzymes typically operate in salt concentrations under 100 mM, salt concentration simultaneously affects signal and noise magnitude as well as DNA capture rate in nanopore sequencing, limiting standard experimental conditions to salt concentrations greater than ~100 mM in order to maintain adequate resolution and experimental throughput. We evaluated the signal contribution from ions on both sides of the membrane (cis and trans) by varying cis and trans [KCl] independently during phi29 DNA Polymerase-controlled translocation of DNA through the biological porin MspA. Our studies reveal that during DNA translocation, the negatively charged DNA increases cation selectivity through MspA with the majority of current produced by the flow of K+ ions from trans to cis. Varying trans [K+] has dramatic effects on the signal magnitude, whereas changing cis [Cl-] produces only small effects. Good signal-to-noise can be maintained with cis [Cl-] as small as 20 mM, if the concentration of KCl on the trans side is kept high. These results demonstrate the potential of using salt-sensitive motor enzymes (helicases, polymerases, recombinases) in nanopore systems and offer a guide for selecting buffer conditions in future experiments to simultaneously optimize signal, throughput, and enzyme activity.
Project description:Nanopore sequencing has the potential to become a fast and low-cost DNA sequencing platform. An ionic current passing through a small pore would directly map the sequence of single stranded DNA (ssDNA) driven through the constriction. The pore protein, MspA, derived from Mycobacterium smegmatis, has a short and narrow channel constriction ideally suited for nanopore sequencing. To study MspA's ability to resolve nucleotides, we held ssDNA within the pore using a biotin-NeutrAvidin complex. We show that homopolymers of adenine, cytosine, thymine, and guanine in MspA exhibit much larger current differences than in ?-hemolysin. Additionally, methylated cytosine is distinguishable from unmethylated cytosine. We establish that single nucleotide substitutions within homopolymer ssDNA can be detected when held in MspA's constriction. Using genomic single nucleotide polymorphisms, we demonstrate that single nucleotides within random DNA can be identified. Our results indicate that MspA has high signal-to-noise ratio and the single nucleotide sensitivity desired for nanopore sequencing devices.
Project description:Acknowledging its unique conical lumen structure, <i>Mycobacterium smegmatis</i> porin A (MspA) was the first type of nanopore that has successfully sequenced DNA. Recent developments of nanopore single molecule chemistry have also suggested MspA to be an optimum single molecule reactor. However, further investigations with this approach require heavy mutagenesis which is labor intensive and requires high end instruments for purifications. We here demonstrate an efficient and economic protocol which performs rapid and multiplex preparation of a variety of MspA mutants. The prepared MspA mutants were demonstrated in operations such as nanopore insertion, sequencing, optical single channel recording (oSCR), nanopore single molecule chemistry and nanopore rectification. The performance is no different from that of pores however prepared by other means. The time of all human operations and the cost for a single batch of preparation have been minimized to 40 min and 0.4$, respectively. This method is extremely useful in the screening of new MspA mutants, which has an urgent requirement in further investigations of new MspA nanoreactors. Its low cost and simplicity also enable efficient preparations of MspA nanopores for both industrial manufacturing and academic research.
Project description:The protein nanopore Mycobacteria smegmatis porin A (MspA), can be used to sense individual nucleotides within DNA, potentially enabling a technique known as nanopore sequencing. In this technique, single-stranded DNA electrophoretically moves through the nanopore and results in an ionic current that is nucleotide-specific. However, with a high transport velocity of the DNA within the nanopore, the ionic current cannot be used to distinguish signals within noise. Through extensive (~100 ?s in total) all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, we examine the effect of positively charged residues on DNA translocation rate and the ionic current blockades in MspA. Simulation of several arginine mutations show a ~10-30 fold reduction of DNA translocation speed without eliminating the nucleotide induced current blockages. Comparison of our results with similar engineering efforts on a different nanopore (?-hemolysin) reveals a nontrivial effect of nanopore geometry on the ionic current blockades in mutant nanopores.
Project description:We report effective charges and diffusion constants of several different single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides trapped in an MspA nanopore. Nucleotide identity is found to have a substantial influence on effective charges and diffusion constants. These quantities are determined from escape time experiments for a DNA molecule attached to a NeutrAvidin molecule that, unlike the DNA, does not pass through the pore. Correlations are reported between oligonucleotide effective charges and current blockages, and between their diffusion constants and DNA-induced current blockage fluctuations. We also report an unanticipated source of current fluctuations that reflects a discrete blockage current level structure. We posit that this is associated with interactions between the NeutrAvidin molecule and the MspA nanopore.
Project description:Nanopores hold great promise as single-molecule analytical devices and biophysical model systems because the ionic current blockades they produce contain information about the identity, concentration, structure, and dynamics of target molecules. The porin MspA of Mycobacterium smegmatis has remarkable stability against environmental stresses and can be rationally modified based on its crystal structure. Further, MspA has a short and narrow channel constriction that is promising for DNA sequencing because it may enable improved characterization of short segments of a ssDNA molecule that is threaded through the pore. By eliminating the negative charge in the channel constriction, we designed and constructed an MspA mutant capable of electronically detecting and characterizing single molecules of ssDNA as they are electrophoretically driven through the pore. A second mutant with additional exchanges of negatively-charged residues for positively-charged residues in the vestibule region exhibited a factor of approximately 20 higher interaction rates, required only half as much voltage to observe interaction, and allowed ssDNA to reside in the vestibule approximately 100 times longer than the first mutant. Our results introduce MspA as a nanopore for nucleic acid analysis and highlight its potential as an engineerable platform for single-molecule detection and characterization applications.
Project description:Ubiquitin chains regulate distinct signaling events through cooperative interactions with effector proteins and deubiquitinases. Measuring the strength of these interactions is often challenging; either large amounts of material are required or one of the binding partners must be labeled for detection. We sought to develop a label-free method for measuring binding of ubiquitin chains to the proteasome-associated deubiquitinase UCH37 and its binding partner RPN13. The method we describe here is based on a fluorescence polarization competition (FPcomp) assay in which fluorescent monoubiquitin is competed off the UCH37•RPN13 complex by the addition of unlabeled ubiquitin chains. We show that the UCH37•RPN13 complex displays higher affinity toward chains with more than two ubiquitin subunits. Removing the ubiquitin-binding PRU domain of RPN13 does not change affinities. These results suggest UCH37•RPN13 acts to selectively recruit proteins modified with long chains (>2 subunits) to the proteasome for degradation. We also demonstrate that the FPcomp assay is suitable for high-throughput screening, which is important considering both UCH37 and RPN13 are potential targets for cancer therapy.