Residue-specific investigation of the relationship between oxidation and activity of a dual specificity phosphatase by mass spectrometry

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Redox regulation of signalling pathways is critical in proliferation and apoptosis; redox imbalance can lead to pathologies such as inflammation and cancer. Vaccinia H1-related protein (VHR; DUSP3) is a dual-specificity phosphatase important in controlling MAP kinase activity during cell cycle. the active-site motif contains a cysteine that acts as a nucleophile during catalysis. We used VHR to investigate the effect of oxidation in vitro on phosphatase activity, with the aim of determining how the profile of site-specific modification related to catalytic activity. Recombinant human VHR was expressed in E. coli and purified using a GST-tag. Protein was subjected to oxidation with various concentrations of SIN-1 or tetranitromethane (TNM) as nitrating agents, or HOCl. the activity was assayed using either 3-O-methylfluorescein phosphate with fluorescence detection or PIP3 by phosphate release with malachite green. the sites of oxidation were mapped using HPLC coupled to tandem mass spectrometry on an ABSciex 5600TripleTOF following in-gel digestion. More than 25 different concentration-dependent oxidative modifications to the protein were detected, including oxidations of methionine, cysteine, histidine, lysine, proline and tyrosine, and the % oxidized peptide (versus unmodified peptide) was determined from the extracted ion chromatograms. Unsurprisingly, methionine residues were very susceptible to oxidation, but there was a significant different in the extent of their oxidation. Similarly, tyrosine residues varied greatly in their modifications: Y85 and Y138 were readily nitrated, whereas Y38, Y78 and Y101 showed little modification. Y138 must be phosphorylated for MAPK phosphatase activity, so this susceptibility impacts on signalling pathways. Di- and tri- oxidations of cysteine residues were observed, but did not correlate directly with loss of activity. Overall, the catalytic activity did not correlate with redox state of any individual residue, but the total oxidative load correlated with treatment concentration and activity. This study provides the first comprehensive analysis of oxidation modifications of VHR, and demonstrates both heterogenous oxidant effects and differential residue susceptibility in a signalling phosphatase.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberPSS110
Pages (from-to)S57
Number of pages1
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue numberSuppl.2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2013
EventSFRBM's 20th annual meeting - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: 20 Nov 201324 Nov 2013

Bibliographical note

SFRBM's 20th Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX (US) 20–24 November 2013.


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