Development of a DUB-selective fluorogenic substrate†
Ubiquitination is a post-translational modification that is involved in a plethora of cellular processes. Target proteins can be specifically modified with a single ubiquitin (Ub) molecule or with complex chains. In recent years, research has focused on deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) as potential therapeutic candidates in various diseases. USP16 is an emerging target due to its involvement in mitosis and stem cell self-renewal. Generally, activity-based probes (ABPs) used to study DUBs are based on the ubiquitin scaffold, thus lacking target selectivity. To overcome this issue, we designed a Ub-based activity probe bearing specific mutations to achieve selectivity for USP16, by combining structural modelling and analysis and mutational calculation predictions. We develop a fluorogenic substrate, the first of its kind, that is processed exclusively by USP16, which allows us to monitor USP16 activity in complex samples.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2019 Chemical Science HOT Article Collection