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Probing affinity and ubiquitin linkage selectivity of ubiquitin-binding domains using mass spectrometry

Probing affinity and ubiquitin linkage selectivity of ubiquitin-binding domains using mass spectrometry

Journal of the American Chemical Society 134(14): 6416-6424

Non-covalent interactions between ubiquitin (Ub)-modified substrates and Ub-binding domains (UBDs) are fundamental to signal transduction by Ub receptor proteins. Poly-Ub chains, linked through isopeptide bonds between internal Lys residues and the C-terminus of Ub, can be assembled with varied topologies to mediate different cellular processes. We have developed and applied a rapid and sensitive electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) method to determine isopeptide linkage-selectivity and affinity of poly-Ub·UBD interactions. We demonstrate the technique using mono-Ub and poly-Ub complexes with a number of α-helical and zinc-finger (ZnF) UBDs from proteins with roles in neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Affinities in the 2-200 μM range were determined to be in excellent agreement with data derived from other biophysical techniques, where available. Application of the methodology provided further insights into the poly-Ub linkage specificity of the hHR23A-UBA2 domain, confirming its role in Lys48-linked poly-Ub signaling. The ZnF UBP domain of isopeptidase-T showed no linkage specificity for poly-Ub chains, and the Rabex-5 MIU also exhibited little or no specificity. The discovery that a number of domains are able to bind cyclic Lys48 di-Ub with affinities similar to those for the acyclic form indicates that cyclic poly-Ub may be capable of playing a role in Ub-signaling. Detection of a ternary complex involving Ub interacting simultaneously with two different UBDs demonstrated the co-existence of multi-site interactions, opening the way for the study of crosstalk between individual Ub-signaling pathways.

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Accession: 055189796

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 22428841

DOI: 10.1021/ja300749d

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