Jeff Perry, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, University of California, Riverside
Combined Crystallography and SAXS Methods for Studying Macromolecular Complexes
Recent developments in small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) are rapidly providing new insights into protein interactions, complexes and conformational states in solution, allowing for detailed biophysical quantification of samples of interest1. Initial analyses provide a judgment of sample quality, revealing the potential presence of aggregation, the overall extent of folding or disorder, the radius of gyration, maximum particle dimensions and oligomerization state. Structural characterizations may include ab initio approaches from SAXS data alone, or enhance structural solutions when combined with previously determined crystal/NMR domains. This combination can provide definitions of architectures, spatial organizations of the protein domains within a complex, including those not yet determined by crystallography or NMR, as well as defining key conformational states. Advantageously, SAXS is not generally constrained by macromolecule size, and rapid collection of data in a 96-well plate format provides methods to screen sample conditions. Such screens include co-factors, substrates, differing protein or nucleotide partners or small molecule inhibitors, to more fully characterize the variations within assembly states and key conformational changes. These analyses are also useful for screening constructs and conditions that are most likely to promote crystal growth. Moreover, these high throughput structural determinations can be leveraged to define how polymorphisms affect assembly formations and activities. Also, SAXS-based technologies may be potentially used for novel structure-based screening, for compounds inducing shape changes or associations/diassociations. This is addition to defining architectural characterizations of complexes and interactions for systems biology-based research, and distinctions in assemblies and interactions in comparative genomics. Thus, SAXS combined with crystallography/NMR and computation provides a unique set of tools that should be considered as being part of one’s repertoire of biophysical analyses, when conducting characterizations of protein and other macromolecular interactions.
1 Perry JJ & Tainer JA. Developing advanced X-ray scattering methods combined with crystallography and computation. Methods. 2013 Mar;59(3):363-71.
Akhilesh Pandey, Ph.D.
Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA
A draft map of the human proteome
We have generated a draft map of the human proteome through a systematic and comprehensive analysis of normal human adult tissues, fetal tissues and hematopoietic cells as an India-US initiative. This unique dataset was generated from 30 histologically normal adult tissues, fetal tissues and purified primary hematopoietic cells that were analyzed at high resolution in the MS mode and by HCD fragmentation in the MS/MS mode on LTQ-Orbitrap Velos/Elite mass spectrometers. This dataset was searched against a 6-frame translation of the human genome and RNA-Seq transcripts in addition to standard protein databases. In addition to confirming a large majority (>16,000) of the annotated protein-coding genes in humans, we obtained novel information at multiple levels: novel protein-coding genes, unannotated exons, novel splice sites, proof of translation of pseudogenes (i.e. genes incorrectly annotated as pseudogenes), fused genes, SNPs encoded in proteins and novel N-termini to name a few. Many proteins identified in this study were identified by proteomic methods for the first time (e.g. hypothetical proteins or proteins annotated based solely on their chromosomal location). We have generated a catalog of proteins that show a more tissue-restricted pattern of expression, which should serve as the basis for pursuing biomarkers for diseases pertaining to specific organs. This study also provides one of the largest sets of proteotypic peptides for use in developing MRM assays for human proteins. Identification of several novel protein-coding regions in the human genome underscores the importance of systematic characterization of the human proteome and accurate annotation of protein-coding genes. This comprehensive dataset will complement other global HUPO initiatives using antibody-based as well as MRM mass spectrometry-based strategies. Finally, we believe that this dataset will become a reference set for use as a spectral library as well as for interesting interrogations pertaining to biomedical as well as bioinformatics questions.
Tobias Preckel, Ph.D.
Life Science Center Manager, Agilent Technologies, Germany
Comprehensive characterization of Biopharmaceuticals: challenges and opportunities
Syed Salman Lateef and Vinayak A K
Development of Supercritical Fluid Chromatography methods for the replacement of existing USP Normal phase liquid chromatography methods
Normal phase liquid chromatography methods often have long run times and involve environmentally toxic/costly solvents. Supercritical chromatography methods on the other hand are faster, inexpensive, and eco-friendly. The low viscous supercritical carbon dioxide operates at high flow rates compared to LC without losing separation efficiency. In this work, SFC methods are developed to replace three United States Pharmacopeial (USP) normal phase achiral methods â€“ prednisolone, tolazamide and cholecalciferol. System suitability parameters of the normal phase method are compared against the SFC method. Precision, linearity and robustness of the new SFC methods are demonstrated. SFC methods were found to be cost effective in terms of analysis time and solvent savings. The SFC method does not require purchase and disposal of expensive environmentally hazardous chemicals. Hence, the newly developed SFC method provides a faster and safer solution.
Sudarslal S, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, School of Biotechnology, Amrita University
Electrospray ionization ion trap mass spectrometry for cyclic peptide characterization
There has been considerable interest in the isolation and structural characterization of bioactive peptides produced by bacteria and fungi. Most of the peptides are cyclic depsipeptides characterized by the presence of lactone linkages and β-hydroxy fatty acids. Occurrence of microheterogeneity is another remarkable property of these peptides. Even if tandem mass spectrometers are good analytical tools to structurally characterize peptides and proteins, sequence analysis of cyclic peptides is often ambiguous due to the random ring opening of the peptides and subsequent generation of a set of linear precursor ions with the same m/z. Here we report combined use of chemical derivatization and multistage fragmentation capability of ion trap mass spectrometers to determine primary sequences of a series of closely related cyclic peptides.
Ravindra Gudihal, Suresh Babu C V
Bioanalytical Characterization of Therapeutic Proteins
The characterization of therapeutic proteins such as monoclonal antibody (mAb) during different stages of manufacturing is crucial for timely and successful product release. Regulatory agencies require a variety of analytical technologies for comprehensive and efficient protein analysis. Electrophoresis-based techniques and liquid chromatography (LC) either standalone or coupled to mass spectrometry (MS) are at the forefront for the in-depth analysis of protein purity, isoforms, stability, aggregation, posttranslational modifications, PEGylation, etc. In this presentation, a combination of various chromatographic and electrophoretic techniques such as liquid-phase isoelectric focusing, microfluidic and capillary-based electrophoresis (CE), liquid chromatography (LC) and combinations of those with mass spectrometry techniques will be discussed. We present a workflow based approach to the analysis of therapeutic proteins. In successive steps critical parameters like purity, accurate mass, aggregation, peptide sequence, glycopeptide and glycan analysis are analyzed. In brief, the workflow involved proteolytic digestion of therapeutic protein for peptide mapping, N-Glycanase and chemical labeling reaction for glycan analysis, liquid-phase isoelectric focusing for enrichment of charge variants followed by a very detailed analysis using state of the art methods such as CE-MS and LC-MS. For the analysis of glycans, we use combinations of CE-MS and LC-MS to highlight the sweet spots of these techniques. CE-MS is found to be more useful in analysis of highly sialylated glycans (charged glycans) while nano LC-MS seems to be better adapted for analysis of neutral glycans. These two techniques can be used to get complementary data to profile all the glycans present in a given protein. In addition, microfluidic electrophoresis was used as a QC tool in initial screening for product purity, analysis of papain digestion fragments of mAb, protein PEGylation products, etc. The described workflow involves multiple platforms, provides an end to end solution for comprehensive protein characterization and aims at reducing the total product development time.
Tejaswini Subbannayya, Nandini A. Sahasrabuddhe, Arivusudar Marimuthu, Santosh Renuse, Gajanan Sathe, Srinivas M. Srikanth, Mustafa A. Barbhuiya, Bipin Nair, Juan Carlos Roa, Rafael Guerrero-Preston, H. C. Harsha, David Sidransky, Akhilesh Pandey, T. S. Keshava Prasad and Aditi Chatterjee
Proteomic profiling of gallbladder cancer secretome – a source for circulatory biomarker discovery
Gallbladder cancer (GBC) is the fifth most common cancer of the gastrointestinal tract and one of the common malignancies that occur in the biliary tract (Misra et al. 2006; Lazcano-Ponce et al. 2001). It has a poor prognosis with survival of less than 5 years in 90% of the cases (Misra et al. 2003). The etiology is ill-defined. Several risk factors have been reported including cholelithiasis, obesity, female gender and exposure to carcinogens (Eslick 2010; Kumar et al. 2006). Poor prognosis in GBC is mainly due to late presentation of the disease and lack of reliable biomarkers for early diagnosis. This emphasizes the need to identify and characterize cancer biomarkers to aid in the diagnosis and prognosis of GBC. Secreted proteins are an important class of molecules which can be detected in body fluids and has been targeted for biomarker discovery. There are challenges faced in the proteomic interrogation of body fluids especially plasma such as low abundance of tumor secreted proteins, high complexity and high abundance of other proteins that are not released by the tumor cells (Tonack et al. 2009). Profiling of conditioned media from the cancer cell lines can be used as an alternate means to identify secreted proteins from tumor cells (Kashyap et al. 2010; Marimuthu et al. 2012). We analyzed the invasive property of 7 GBC cell lines (SNU-308, G-415, GB-d1, TGBC2TKB, TGBC24TKB, OCUG-1 and NOZ). Four cell lines were selected for analysis of the cancer secretome based on the invasive property of the cells. We employed isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) labeling technology coupled with high resolution mass spectrometry to identify and characterize secretome from the panel of 4GBC cancer cells mentioned above. In total, we have identified around 2,000 proteins of which 175 were secreted at differential abundance across all the four cell lines. This secretome analysis will act as a reservoir of candidate biomarkers. Currently, we are investigating and validating these candidate markers from GBC cell secretome. Through this study, we have shown mass spectrometry-based quantitative proteomic analysis as a robust approach to investigate secreted proteins in cancer cells.