Peptide-Based Probes To Monitor Cysteine-Mediated Protein Activities
Pace, Nicholas. “Peptide-Based Probes To Monitor Cysteine-Mediated Protein Activities”, Boston College, 2015. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:104128.
Cysteine residues are known to perform an array of functional roles in proteins, including nucleophilic and redox catalysis, regulation, metal binding, and structural stabilization, on proteins across diverse functional classes. These functional cysteine residues often display hyperreactivity, and electrophilic chemical probes can be utilized to modify reactive cysteines and modulate their protein functions. A particular focus was placed on three peptide-based cysteine-reactive chemical probes (NJP2, NJP14. and NJP15) and their particular biological applications. NJP2 was discovered to be an apoptotic cell-selective inhibitor of glutathione S-transferase omega 1 and shows additional utility as an imaging agent of apoptosis. NJP14 aided in the development of a chemical-proteomic platform to detect Zn2+-cysteine complexes. This platform identified both known and unknown Zn2+-cysteine complexes across diverse protein classes and should serve as a valuable complement to existing methods to characterize functional Zn2+-cysteine complexes. Finally, NJP15 was part of a panel of site-selective cysteine-reactive inhibitors of protein disulfide isomerase A1 (PDIA1). These inhibitors show promise in clarifying the unique and redundant properties of PDIA1's dual active-sites, as well as interrogating the protein's role in cancer. Together, these case studies illustrate the potential of cysteine-reactive chemical probes to modulate protein activities, interrogate biological systems, and aid in the development of powerful therapeutic drugs.