Multiplexed Isobaric Quantitative Cross-Linking Reveals Drug-Induced Interactome Changes in Breast Cancer Cells

February 5, 2022 0 Comments

The study of protein structures and interactions is critical to understand their function. Chemical cross-linking of proteins with mass spectrometry (XL-MS) is a rapidly developing structural biology technique able to provide valuable insight into protein conformations and interactions, even as they exist within their native cellular environment. Quantitative analysis of cross-links can reveal protein conformational and interaction changes that occur as a result of altered biological states, environmental conditions, or pharmacological perturbations.
Our laboratory recently developed an isobaric quantitative protein interaction reporter (iqPIR) cross-linking strategy for comparative interactome studies. This strategy relies on isotope encoded chemical cross-linkers that have the same molecular mass yet produce unique and specific isotope signatures upon fragmentation in the mass spectrometer which can be used for quantitative analysis of cross-linked peptides.
The initial set of iqPIR molecules allowed for binary comparisons. Here, we describe the in vivo application of an extended set of six iqPIR reagents (6-plex iqPIR), allowing multiplexed quantitative interactome analysis of up to six biological samples in a single LC-MS acquisition. Multiplexed iqPIR is demonstrated on MCF-7 breast cancer cells treated with five different Hsp90 inhibitors revealing large scale protein conformational and interaction changes specific to the molecular class of the inhibitors.

Investigating Crystalline Protein Suspension Formulations of Pembrolizumab from MAS NMR Spectroscopy

Developing biological formulations to maintain the chemical and structural integrity of therapeutic antibodies remains a significant challenge. Monoclonal antibody (mAb) crystalline suspension formulation is a promising alternative for high concentration subcutaneous drug delivery. It demonstrates many merits compared to the solution formulation to reach a high concentration at the reduced viscosity and enhanced stability.

  • One main challenge in drug development is the lack of high-resolution characterization of the crystallinity and stability of mAb microcrystals in the native formulations.
  • Conventional analytical techniques often cannot evaluate structural details of mAb microcrystals in the native suspension due to the presence of visible particles, relatively small crystal size, high protein concentration, and multicomponent nature of a liquid formulation.
  • This study demonstrates the first high-resolution characterization of mAb microcrystalline suspension using magic angle spinning (MAS) NMR spectroscopy.
  • Crystalline suspension formulation of pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ 07033, U.S.) is utilized as a model system. Remarkably narrow 13C spectral linewidth of approximately 29 Hz suggests a high order of crystallinity and conformational homogeneity of pembrolizumab crystals.
  • The impact of thermal stress and dehydration on the structure, dynamics, and stability of these mAb crystals in the formulation environment is evaluated. Moreover, isotopic labeling and heteronuclear 13C and 15N spectroscopies have been utilized to identify the binding of caffeine in the pembrolizumab crystal lattice, providing molecular insights into the cocrystallization of the protein and ligand.
  • Our study provides valuable structural details for facilitating the design of crystalline suspension formulation of Keytruda and demonstrates the high potential of MAS NMR as an advanced tool for biophysical characterization of biological therapeutics.

Transcriptional regulation of cell growth and reprogramming of systemic response in wheat (Triticum turgidum subsp. durum) seedlings by Bacillus paralicheniformis TRQ65

Bacillus paralicheniformis TRQ65 reprograms the gene expression patterns associated with systemic response to potentially facilitate its colonization and stimulate cell growth and plant biomass. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) carry out numerous mechanisms that enhance growth in seedlings, such as nutrient solubilization, phytohormone production, biocontrol activity, and regulation of induced systemic resistance (ISR) and acquired systemic resistance (ASR). Bacillus paralicheniformis TRQ65 is a biological and plant growth-promoting bacterium isolated from wheat (Triticum turgidum subsp. durum) rhizosphere.
In this study, we performed a transcriptomic analysis of wheat seedlings inoculated with the native rhizobacterium Bacillus paralicheniformis TRQ65 (1 × 107 cells∙g -1 of soil) at early development stages (GS15). A morphometrical assay was carried out to confirm growth promotion and after the cultivation period, TRQ65 was re-isolated to define inoculum persistence. Inoculated seedlings showed a significant (P < 0.05) increase in shoot length (93.48%) and dry weight in both shoot (117.02%) and root (48.33%) tissues; also, the strain persisted in the soil at 1.4 × 107 UFC∙g-1 of soil. A total of 228 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) (FDR < 0.05 and |log2 fold change|≥ 1.3) were observed in response to TRQ65 inoculation, of which 185 were down-regulated and 43 were up-regulated.
The transcriptional patterns were characterized by the regulation of multidimensional cell growth (ROS, Ca+2 channel, and NADPH oxidases activity), suppression of defense mechanism (PR proteins, PDFs, ROS, transcription factors), induction of central stimuli receptors (RALF, WAK, MAPK), carbohydrate metabolism (invertase activity) and phytohormone-related transport (ABCG transporter and AAAP). These results suggest that B. paralicheniformis TRQ65 is a promising bioinoculant agent for increasing wheat growth and development by reprogramming ISR and ASR simultaneously, suppressing defense mechanisms and inducing central stimuli response.

SARS-CoV-2 Inhibitors from Nigella Sativa

The recently encountered severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 creates huge predicaments among various countries. Lack of specific treatment of COVID-19 disease demands urgency in drug design against SARS-CoV-2 targets. Nigella sativa the miraculous herb native to South and Southwest Asia and belonging to the family Ranunculaceae, due to its beneficial bioactive properties, was used by us for performing in silico study to analyze the potential of its compounds so that they can target and inhibit SARS-COV-2 proteins including its main protease, the papain-like protease, its helicase, and also the RNA-dependent RNApolymerase, RNA-binding protein, Endoribonuclease, receptor-binding domain, and the RNA-binding domain of nucleocapsid phosphoprotein.
The procedure of molecular docking was done with the help of AutoDock-Vina 1.1.2. and along with it the ADMET properties of the best suited ligands were found and Lipinski screening was performed. Among 58 ligands screened, various compounds showed binding energy less than the standard drug chloroquine. Three compounds alpha-hederin, rutin, and nigellamine A2 had the least binding energy with the specific SARS-Cov-2 proteins suggesting their best potential as SARS-CoV-2 inhibitor. Hence, in the future, studies including the in vitro and also the in vivo studies can be carried out for analyzing their true potential and encourage use of nutraceuticals like Nigella sativa to inhibit this virus.

A crystal-processing machine using a deep-ultraviolet laser: application to long-wavelength native SAD experiments

While native SAD phasing is a promising method for next-generation macromolecular crystallography, it requires the collection of high-quality diffraction data using long-wavelength X-rays. The crystal itself and the noncrystalline medium around the crystal can cause background noise during long-wavelength X-ray data collection, hampering native SAD phasing. Optimizing the crystal size and shape or removing noncrystalline sample portions have thus been considered to be effective means of improving the data quality.
A crystal-processing machine that uses a deep-UV laser has been developed. The machine utilizes the pulsed UV laser soft ablation (PULSA) technique, which generates less heat than methods using infrared or visible lasers. Since protein crystals are sensitive to heat damage, PULSA is an appropriate method to process them.
Integration of a high-speed Galvano scanner and a high-precision goniometer enables protein crystals to be shaped precisely and efficiently. Application of this crystal-processing machine to a long-wavelength X-ray diffraction experiment significantly improved the diffraction data quality and thereby increased the success rate in experimental phasing using anomalous diffraction from atoms.

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