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Protease Specificity Profiling in a Pipet Tip Using “Charge-Synchronized” Proteome-Derived Peptide Libraries

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posted on 2018-04-17, 00:00 authored by Minh T. N. Nguyen, Gerta Shema, René P. Zahedi, Steven H. L. Verhelst
About 2% of the genome of human and other organisms codes for proteases. An important step toward deciphering the biological function of a protease and designing inhibitors is the profiling of protease specificity. In this work we present a novel, label-free, proteomics-based protease specificity profiling method that only requires simple sample preparation steps. It uses proteome-derived peptide libraries and enriches the cleaved sequences using strong cation exchange chromatography (SCX) material in a pipet tip. As a demonstration of the method’s versatility, we successfully determined the specificity of GluC, caspase-3, chymotrypsin, MMP-1 and cathepsin G from several hundreds to almost 2000 cleavage events per protease. Interestingly, we also found a novel intrinsic preference of cathepsin G for Asn at the P1 subsite, which we confirmed using synthetic peptides. Overall, this method is straightforward and requires so far the lowest investment in material and equipment for protease specificity profiling. Therefore, we think it will be applicable in any biochemistry laboratory and promote an increased understanding of protease specificity.

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