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Arginine-Selective Chemical Labeling Approach for Identification and Enrichment of Reactive Arginine Residues in Proteins

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posted on 26.10.2018 by Maheshika S. K. Wanigasekara, Xiaojun Huang, Jayanta K. Chakrabarty, Alejandro Bugarin, Saiful M. Chowdhury
Modification of arginine residues using dicarbonyl compounds is a common method to identify functional or reactive arginine residues in proteins. Arginine undergoes several kinds of posttranslational modifications in these functional residues. Identifying these reactive residues confidently in a protein or large-scale samples is a very challenging task. Several dicarbonyl compounds have been utilized, and the most effective ones are phenylglyoxal and cyclohexanedione. However, tracking these reactive arginine residues in a protein or large-scale protein samples using a chemical labeling approach is very challenging. Thus, the enrichment of modified peptides will provide reduced sample complexity and confident mass-spectrometric data analysis. To pinpoint arginine-labeled peptide efficiently, we developed a novel arginine-selective enrichment reagent. For the first time, we conjugated an azide tag in a widely used dicarbonyl compound cyclohexanedione. This provided us the ability to enrich modified peptides using a bio-orthogonal click chemistry and the biotin–avidin affinity chromatography. We evaluated the reagent in several standard peptides and proteins. Three standard peptides, bradykinin, substance P, and neurotensin, were labeled with this cyclohexanedione-azide reagent. Click labeling of modified peptides was tested by spiking the peptides in a myoglobin protein digest. A protein, RNase A, was also labeled with the reagent, and after click chemistry and biotin–avidin affinity chromatography, we identified two selective arginine residues. We believe this strategy will be an efficient way for identifying functional and reactive arginine residues in a protein or protein mixtures.