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Nov 2019 Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE

Profiling Ubiquitin and Ubiquitin-like Dependent Post-translational Modifications and Identification of Significant Alterations.


Swayden M, Dobric A, Berthois Y, Villalba H, Audebert S, Camoin L, Iovanna J, Soubeyran P


Ubiquitin (ub) and ubiquitin-like (ubl) dependent post-translational modifications of proteins play fundamental biological regulatory roles within the cell by controlling protein stability, activity, interactions, and intracellular localization. They enable the cell to respond to signals and to adapt to changes in its environment. Alterations within these mechanisms can lead to severe pathological situations such as neurodegenerative diseases and cancers. The aim of the technique described here is to establish ub/ubls dependent PTMs profiles, rapidly and accurately, from cultured cell lines. The comparison of different profiles obtained from different conditions allows the identification of specific alterations, such as those induced by a treatment for example. Lentiviral mediated cell transduction is performed to create stable cell lines expressing a two-tags (6His and Flag) version of the modifier (ubiquitin or a ubl such as SUMO1 or Nedd8). These tags permit the purification of ubiquitin and therefore of ubiquitinated proteins from the cells. This is done through a two-step purification process: The first one is performed in denaturing conditions using the 6His tag, and the second one in native conditions using the Flag tag. This leads to a highly specific and pure isolation of modified proteins which are subsequently identified and semi-quantified by liquid chromatography followed by tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) technology. Easy informatics analysis of MS data using Excel software enables the establishment of PTM profiles by eliminating background signals. These profiles are compared between each condition in order to identify specific alterations which will then be studied more specifically, starting with their validation by standard biochemistry techniques.

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