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Quantitative Chemical Proteomic Profiling of the in Vivo Targets of Reactive Drug Metabolites

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posted on 21.06.2017, 13:50 by Landon R. Whitby, R. Scott Obach, Gabriel M. Simon, Matthew M. Hayward, Benjamin F. Cravatt
Idiosyncratic liver toxicity represents an important problem in drug research and pharmacotherapy. Reactive drug metabolites that modify proteins are thought to be a principal factor in drug-induced liver injury. Here, we describe a quantitative chemical proteomic method to identify the targets of reactive drug metabolites in vivo. Treating mice with clickable analogues of four representative hepatotoxic drugs, we demonstrate extensive covalent binding that is confined primarily to the liver. Each drug exhibited a distinct target profile that, in certain cases, showed strong enrichment for specific metabolic pathways (e.g., lipid/sterol pathways for troglitazone). Site-specific proteomics revealed that acetaminophen reacts with high stoichiometry with several conserved, functional (seleno)­cysteine residues throughout the liver proteome. Our findings thus provide an advanced experimental framework to characterize the proteomic reactivity of drug metabolites in vivo, revealing target profiles that may help to explain mechanisms and identify risk factors for drug-induced liver injury.