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Keywords:

  • Heat shock protein 90;
  • Phosphopeptides;
  • Phosphoproteome;
  • Phosphoproteins;
  • Phosphoproteomics;
  • Signal transduction

Abstract

Systematic parallel analysis of the phosphorylation status of networks of interacting proteins involved in the regulatory circuitry of cells and tissues is certain to drive research in the post-genomics era for many years to come. Reversible protein phosphorylation plays a critical regulatory role in a multitude of cellular processes, including alterations in signal transduction pathways related to oncogene and tumor suppressor gene products in cancer. While fluorescence detection methods are likely to offer the best solution to global protein quantitation in proteomics, to date, there has been no satisfactory method for the specific and reversible fluorescent detection of gel-separated phosphoproteins from complex samples. The newly developed Pro-Q Diamond phosphoprotein dye technology is suitable for the fluorescent detection of phosphoserine-, phosphothreonine-, and phosphotyrosine-containing proteins directly in sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-polyacrylamide gels and two-dimensional (2-D) gels. Additionally, the technology is appropriate for the determination of protein kinase and phosphatase substrate preference. Other macromolecules, such as DNA, RNA, and sulfated glycans, fail to be detected with Pro-Q Diamond dye. The staining procedure is rapid, simple to perform, readily reversible and fully compatible with modern microchemical analysis procedures, such as matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. Pro-Q Diamond dye technology can detect as little as 1–2 ng of β-casein, a pentaphosphorylated protein, and 8 ng of pepsin, a monophosphorylated protein. Fluorescence signal intensity correlates with the number of phosphorylated residues on the protein. Through combination of Pro-Q Diamond phosphoprotein stain with SYPRO® Ruby protein gel stain, Multiplexed Proteomics technology permits quantitative, dichromatic fluorescence detection of proteins in 2-D gels. This evolving discovery platform allows the parallel determination of protein expression level changes and altered post-translational modification patterns within a single 2-D gel experiment. The linear responses of the fluorescence dyes utilized, allow rigorous quantitation of changes over an unprecedented 500–1000-fold concentration range.