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Large-Scale Filter-Aided Sample Preparation Method for the Analysis of the Ubiquitinome

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journal contribution
posted on 05.03.2017 by Albert Casanovas, Roberto Pinto-Llorente, Montserrat Carrascal, Joaquin Abian
Protein ubiquitination regulates key cellular functions, including protein homeostasis and signal transduction. The digestion of ubiquitinated proteins with trypsin yields a glycine–glycine remnant bound to the modified lysine residue (K-ε-GG) that can be recognized by specific antibodies for immunoaffinity purification (IAP) and subsequent identification of ubiquitination sites by mass spectrometry. Previous ubiquitinome studies based on this strategy have consistently digested milligram amounts of protein as starting material using in-solution digestion protocols prior to K-ε-GG enrichment. Filter-aided sample preparation (FASP) surpasses in-solution protein digestion in cleavage efficiency, but its performance has thus far been shown for digestion of sample amounts on the order of micrograms. Because cleavage efficiency is pivotal in the generation of the K-ε-GG epitope recognized during IAP, here we developed a large-scale FASP method (LFASP) for digestion of milligram amounts of protein and evaluated its applicability to the study of the ubiquitinome. Our results demonstrate that LFASP-based tryptic digestion is efficient, robust, reproducible, and applicable to the study of the ubiquitinome. We benchmark our results with state-of-the-art ubiquitinome studies and show a ∼3-fold reduction in the proportion of miscleaved peptides with the method presented here. Beyond ubiquitinome analysis, LFASP overcomes the general limitation in sample capacity of standard FASP-based protocols and can therefore be used for a variety of applications that demand a large­(r) amount of starting material.

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