The redoxomics of PTEN: walking a fine line between damage and signaling
: mass spectrometry-based approaches to study the effect of oxidation on PTEN function, structure, and protein-protein interactions

  • Ivan Verrastro

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The research described in this PhD thesis focuses on proteomics approaches to study the effect of oxidation on the modification status and protein-protein interactions of PTEN, a redox-sensitive phosphatase involved in a number of cellular processes including metabolism, apoptosis, cell proliferation, and survival. While direct evidence of a redox regulation of PTEN and its downstream signaling has been reported, the effect of cellular oxidative stress or direct PTEN oxidation on PTEN structure and interactome is still poorly defined.
In a first study, GST-tagged PTEN was directly oxidized over a range of hypochlorous acid (HOCl) concentration, assayed for phosphatase activity, and oxidative post-translational modifications (oxPTMs) were quantified using LC-MS/MS-based label-free methods. In a second study, GSTtagged
PTEN was prepared in a reduced and reversibly H2O2-oxidized form, immobilized on a resin support and incubated with HCT116 cell lysate to capture PTEN interacting proteins, which were analyzed by LC-MS/MS and comparatively quantified using label-free methods. In parallel experiments, HCT116 cells transfected with a GFP-tagged PTEN were treated with H2O2 and PTENinteracting proteins immunoprecipitated using standard methods.
Several high abundance HOCl-induced oxPTMs were mapped, including those taking place at amino acids known to be important for PTEN phosphatase activity and protein-protein interactions, such as Met35, Tyr155, Tyr240 and Tyr315. A PTEN redox interactome was also characterized, which identified a number of PTEN-interacting proteins that vary with the reversible inactivation of PTEN caused by H2O2 oxidation. These included new PTEN interactors as well as the redox proteins peroxiredoxin-1 (Prdx1) and thioredoxin (Trx), which are known to be involved in the recycling of PTEN active site following H2O2-induced reversible inactivation. The results suggest that the oxidative modification of PTEN causes functional alterations in PTEN structure and interactome, with fundamental implications for the PTEN signaling role in many cellular processes, such as those involved in the pathophysiology of disease and ageing.
Date of Award18 Jan 2016
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorAndrew Pitt (Supervisor) & Corinne Spickett (Supervisor)


  • funtional proteomics
  • oxidative stress
  • protein tyrosine phosphatases
  • ROS signaling
  • thiol/disulphide switches

Cite this