Thermostability-assisted limited proteolysis-coupled mass spectrometry for capturing drug target proteins and sites


Anal Chim Acta. 2024 Jul 11;1312:342755. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2024.342755. Epub 2024 May 21.


BACKGROUND: Identifying drug-binding targets and their corresponding sites is crucial for drug discovery and mechanism studies. Limited proteolysis-coupled mass spectrometry (LiP-MS) is a sophisticated method used for the detection of compound and protein interactions. However, in some cases, LiP-MS cannot identify the target proteins due to the small structure changes or the lack of enrichment of low-abundant protein. To overcome this drawback, we developed a thermostability-assisted limited proteolysis-coupled mass spectrometry (TALiP-MS) approach for efficient drug target discovery.

RESULTS: We proved that the novel strategy, TALiP-MS, could efficiently identify target proteins of various ligands, including cyclosporin A (a calcineurin inhibitor), geldanamycin (an HSP90 inhibitor), and staurosporine (a kinase inhibitor), with accurately recognizing drug-binding domains. The TALiP protocol increased the number of target peptides detected in LiP-MS experiments by 2- to 8-fold. Meanwhile, the TALiP-MS approach can not only identify both ligand-binding stability and destabilization proteins but also shows high complementarity with the thermal proteome profiling (TPP) and machine learning-based limited proteolysis (LiP-Quant) methods. The developed TALiP-MS approach was applied to identify the target proteins of celastrol (CEL), a natural product known for its strong antioxidant and anti-cancer angiogenesis effect. Among them, four proteins, MTHFD1, UBA1, ACLY, and SND1 were further validated for their strong affinity to CEL by using cellular thermal shift assay. Additionally, the destabilized proteins induced by CEL such as TAGLN2 and CFL1 were also validated.

SIGNIFICANCE: Collectively, these findings underscore the efficacy of the TALiP-MS method for identifying drug targets, elucidating binding sites, and even detecting drug-induced conformational changes in target proteins in complex proteomes.

PMID:38834267 | DOI:10.1016/j.aca.2024.342755