New Publication in Biochemistry

AMPylation is a post-translational modification utilized by human and bacterial cells to modulate the activity and function of specific proteins. Major AMPylators such as human FICD and bacterial VopS have been studied extensively for their substrate and target scope in vitro. Recently, an AMP pronucleotide probe also facilitated the in situ analysis of AMPylation in living cells. Based on this technology, we here introduce a novel UMP pronucleotide probe and utilize it to profile uninfected and Vibrio parahaemolyticus infected human cells. Mass spectrometric analysis of labeled protein targets reveals an unexpected promiscuity of human nucleotide transferases with an almost identical target set of AMP- and UMPylated proteins. Vice versa, studies in cells infected by V. parahaemolyticus and its effector VopS revealed solely AMPylation of host enzymes, highlighting a so far unknown specificity of this transferase for ATP. Taken together, pronucleotide probes provide an unprecedented insight into the in situ activity profile of crucial nucleotide transferases, which can largely differ from their in vitro activity.

Mostert, D., Bubeneck, W. A., Rauh, T., Kielkowski, P., Itzen, A., Jung, K., Sieber, S. A. "Pronucleotide Probes Reveal a Diverging Specificity for AMPylation vs UMPylation of Human and Bacterial Nucleotide Transferases", Biochemistry


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