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BACKGROUND: The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) controls the stability, localization and/or activity of the proteome. However, the identification and characterization of complex individual ubiquitination cascades and their modulators remains a challenge. Here, we report a broadly applicable, multiplexed, miniaturized on-bead technique for real-time monitoring of various ubiquitination-related enzymatic activities. The assay, termed UPS-confocal fluorescence nanoscanning (UPS-CONA), employs a substrate of interest immobilized on a micro-bead and a fluorescently labeled ubiquitin which, upon enzymatic conjugation to the substrate, is quantitatively detected on the bead periphery by confocal imaging.
RESULTS: UPS-CONA is suitable for studying individual enzymatic activities, including various E1, E2, and HECT-type E3 enzymes, and for monitoring multi-step reactions within ubiquitination cascades in a single experimental compartment. We demonstrate the power of the UPS-CONA technique by simultaneously following ubiquitin transfer from Ube1 through Ube2L3 to E6AP. We applied this multi-step setup to investigate the selectivity of five ubiquitination inhibitors reportedly targeting different classes of ubiquitination enzymes. Using UPS-CONA, we have identified a new activity of a small molecule E2 inhibitor, BAY 11-7082, and of a HECT E3 inhibitor, heclin, towards the Ube1 enzyme.
CONCLUSIONS: As a sensitive, quantitative, flexible, and reagent-efficient method with a straightforward protocol, UPS-CONA constitutes a powerful tool for interrogation of ubiquitination-related enzymatic pathways and their chemical modulators, and is readily scalable for large experiments.
- Bead-based assay
- Confocal fluorescence
- Ubiquitination assay
Koszela, J. (Creator), Pham, N. T. (Creator), Evans, D. (Creator), Mann, S. (Creator), Perez Pi, I. (Creator), Shave, S. (Creator), Ceccarelli, D. F. (Creator), Sicheri, F. (Creator), Tyers, M. D. (Creator) & Auer, M. (Creator), Edinburgh DataShare, 18 Jul 2018