Isoindoline-Based Nitroxides as Bioresistant Spin Labels for Protein Labeling via Cysteines and Alkyne Bearing Noncanonical Amino Acids
2020-04, Braun, Theresa S., Widder, Pia, Osswald, Uwe, Groß, Lina, Williams, Lara, Schmidt, Moritz J., Helmle, Irina, Summerer, Daniel, Drescher, Malte
Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy in combination with site-directed spin labeling (SDSL) is a powerful tool in protein structural research. Nitroxides are highly suitable spin labeling reagents, but suffer from limited stability in particular in cellular environment. Here, we present the synthesis of a maleimid- and an azide-modified tetraethyl-shielded isoindoline-based nitroxide (M- and Az-TEIO) for labeling of cysteines or the noncanonical amino acid para -ethynyl-l-phenylalanine ( p ENF). We demonstrate high stability of TEIO site-specifically attached to the protein thioredoxin (TRX) towards reduction in prokaryotic and eukaryotic environments, and conduct double electron-electron resonance (DEER) measurements. We further generate a rotamer library for the new residue p ENF-Az-TEIO that affords a distance distribution that is in agreement with the measured distribution.
Genetically encoded fluorophenylalanines enable insights into the recognition of lysine trimethylation by an epigenetic reader
2016, Lee, Yan-Jiun, Schmidt, Moritz J., Tharp, Jeffery M., Weber, Annemarie, Koenig, Amber L., Zheng, Hong, Gao, Jianmin, Waters, Marcey L., Summerer, Daniel, Liu, Wenshe R.
Fluorophenylalanines bearing 2-5 fluorine atoms at the phenyl ring have been genetically encoded by amber codon. Replacement of F59, a phenylalanine residue that is directly involved in interactions with trimethylated K9 of histone H3, in the Mpp8 chromodomain recombinantly with fluorophenylalanines significantly impairs the binding to a K9-trimethylated H3 peptide.
EPR Distance Measurements in Native Proteins with Genetically Encoded Spin Labels
2015, Schmidt, Moritz J., Fedoseev, Artem, Bücker, Dennis, Borbas, Julia, Peter, Christine, Drescher, Malte, Summerer, Daniel
The genetic encoding of nitroxide amino acids in combination with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) distance measurements enables precise structural studies of native proteins, i.e. without the need for mutations to create unique reactive sites for chemical labeling and thus with minimal structural perturbation. We here report on in vitro DEER measurements in native E. coli thioredoxin (TRX) that establish the nitroxide amino acid SLK-1 as a spectroscopic probe that reports distances and conformational flexibilities in the enzyme with nonmutated catalytic centers that are not accessible by the use of the traditional methanethiosulfonate spin label (MTSSL). We generated a rotamer library for SLK-1 that in combination with molecular dynamics (MD) simulation enables predictions of distance distributions between two SLK-1 labels incorporated into a target protein. Toward a routine use of SLK-1 for EPR distance measurements in proteins and the advancement of the approach to intracellular environments, we study the stability of SLK-1 in E. coli cultures and lysates and establish guidelines for protein expression and purification that offer maximal nitroxide stability. These advancements and insights provide new perspectives for facile structural studies of native, endogenous proteins by EPR distance measurements.
Structural Basis of Furan–Amino Acid Recognition by a Polyspecific Aminoacyl-tRNA-Synthetase and its Genetic Encoding in Human Cells
2014, Schmidt, Moritz J., Weber, Annemarie, Pott, Moritz, Welte, Wolfram, Summerer, Daniel
The site-selective introduction of photo-crosslinking groups into proteins enables the discovery and mapping of weak and/or transient protein interactions with high spatiotemporal resolution, both in vitro and in vivo. We report the genetic encoding of a furan-based, photo-crosslinking amino acid in human cells; it can be activated with red light, thus offering high penetration depths in biological samples. This is achieved by activation of the amino acid and charging to its cognate tRNA by a pyrrolysyl-tRNA-synthetase (PylRS) mutant with broad polyspecificity. To gain insights into the recognition of this amino acid and to provide a rationale for its polyspecificity, we solved three crystal structures of the PylRS mutant: in its apo-form, in complex with adenosine 5′-(β,γ-imido)triphosphate (AMP-PNP) and in complex with the AMP ester of the furan amino acid. These structures provide clues for the observed polyspecificity and represent a promising starting point for the engineering of PylRS mutants with further increased substrate scope.
Site-directed spin labelling of proteins by Suzuki–Miyaura coupling via a genetically encoded aryliodide amino acid
2019-02-07, Kugele, Anandi, Braun, Theresa S., Widder, Pia, Williams, Lara, Schmidt, Moritz J., Summerer, Daniel, Drescher, Malte
We report site-directed protein spin labelling via Suzuki–Miyaura coupling of a nitroxide boronic acid label with the genetically encoded amino acid 4-iodo-L-phenylalanine. The resulting spin label bears a rigid biphenyl linkage with lower flexibility than spin label R1. It is suitable to obtain defined electron paramagnetic resonance distance distributions and to report protein–membrane interactions and conformational transitions of α-synuclein.
Site-directed spin labeling of proteins for distance measurements in vitro and in cells
2016, Roser, Patrick, Schmidt, Moritz J., Drescher, Malte, Summerer, Daniel
Site-directed spin labeling (SDSL) in combination with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy allows studying the structure, dynamics, and interactions of proteins via distance measurements in the nanometer range. We here give an overview of available spin labels, the strategies for their introduction into proteins, and the associated potentials for protein structural studies in vitro and in the context of living cells.
A Genetically Encoded Spin Label for Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Distance Measurements
2014-01-29, Schmidt, Moritz J., Borbas, Julia, Drescher, Malte, Summerer, Daniel
We report the genetic encoding of a noncanonical, spin-labeled amino acid in Escherichia coli. This enables the intracellular biosynthesis of spin-labeled proteins and obviates the need for any chemical labeling step usually required for protein electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) studies. The amino acid can be introduced at multiple, user-defined sites of a protein and is stable in E. coli even for prolonged expression times. It can report intramolecular distance distributions in proteins by double-electron electron resonance measurements. Moreover, the signal of spin-labeled protein can be selectively detected in cells. This provides elegant new perspectives for in-cell EPR studies of endogenous proteins.
Directed Evolution of Orthogonal Pyrrolysyl-tRNA Synthetases in Escherichia coli for the Genetic Encoding of Noncanonical Amino Acids
2018, Schmidt, Moritz J., Summerer, Daniel
The directed evolution of orthogonal aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRS) for the genetic encoding of noncanonical amino acids (ncAA) has paved the way for the site-specific incorporation of >170 functionally diverse ncAAs into proteins in a large number of organisms [1, 2]. Here, we describe the directed evolution of orthogonal pyrrolysyl-tRNA synthetase (PylRS) mutants with new amino acid selectivities from libraries using a two-step selection protocol based on chloramphenicol and barnase reporter systems. Although this protocol focuses on the evolution of PylRS variants, this procedure can be universally employed to evolve orthogonal aaRS.
Genetically Encoded Spin Labels for In Vitro and In-Cell EPR Studies of Native Proteins
2015, Schmidt, Moritz J., Fedoseev, Artem, Summerer, Daniel, Drescher, Malte
Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy in combination with site-directed spin labeling (SDSL) is a powerful approach to study the structure, dynamics, and interactions of proteins. The genetic encoding of the noncanonical amino acid spin-labeled lysine 1 (SLK-1) eliminates the need for any chemical labeling steps in SDSL-EPR studies and enables the investigation of native, endogenous proteins with minimal structural perturbation, and without the need to create unique reactive sites for chemical labeling. We report detailed experimental procedures for the efficient synthesis of SLK-1, the expression and purification of SLK-1-containing proteins under conditions that ensure maximal integrity of the nitroxide radical moiety, and procedures for intramolecular EPR distance measurements in proteins by double electron-electron resonance.
Evolved Sequence Contexts for Highly Efficient Amber Suppression with Noncanonical Amino Acids
2014, Pott, Moritz, Schmidt, Moritz J., Summerer, Daniel
The expansion of the genetic code with noncanonical amino acids (ncAA) enables the function of proteins to be tailored with high molecular precision. In this approach, the ncAA is charged to an orthogonal nonsense suppressor tRNA by an aminoacyl-tRNA-synthetase (aaRS) and incorporated into the target protein in vivo by suppression of nonsense codons in the mRNA during ribosomal translation. Compared to sense codon translation, this process occurs with reduced efficiency. However, it is still poorly understood, how the local sequence context of the nonsense codon affects suppression efficiency. Here, we report sequence contexts for highly efficient suppression of the widely used amber codon in E. coli for the orthogonal Methanocaldococcus jannaschii tRNATyr/TyrRS and Methanosarcina mazei tRNAPyl/PylRS pairs. In vivo selections of sequence context libraries consisting of each two random codons directly up- and downstream of an amber codon afforded contexts with strong preferences for particular mRNA nucleotides and/or amino acids that markedly differed from preferences of contexts obtained in control selections with sense codons. The contexts provided high amber suppression efficiencies with little ncAA-dependence that were transferrable between proteins and resulted in protein expression levels of 70–110% compared to levels of control proteins without amber codon. These sequence contexts represent stable tags for robust and highly efficient incorporation of ncAA into proteins in standard E. coli strains and provide general design rules for the engineering of amber codons into target genes.