Construction of nano receptors for ubiquitin and ubiquitinated proteins based on the region-specific interactions between ubiquitin and polydopamine†
Ubiquitination is a prevalent post-translational modification that controls a multitude of important biological processes. Due to the low abundance of ubiquitinated proteins, highly efficient separation and enrichment approaches are required for ubiquitinome analysis. In this work, we disclose the region-specific interactions between the hydrophobic patch of ubiquitin and polydopamine. Taking advantage of this inherent binding property, we have constructed surface-imprinted magnetic nanoparticles (NPs) for ubiquitin by sequential dopamine polymerization and surface PEGylation. The obtained molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) NPs showed a binding constant of 2.6 × 106 L mol−1 for the template ubiquitin. The bound ubiquitin could be quantitatively released by heating to 70 °C at pH 2.0 or 90 °C at neutral (pH 7.0) conditions. The MIP NPs exhibited nano receptor-like property which not only effectively blocked the formation of branched ubiquitin chains but also selectively separated ubiquitin from the bacterial cell lysates. By incubating the MIP NPs with the lysates of 293T cells, totally 529 ubiquitinated proteins were captured, among which 287 proteins were not identified by the anti-ubiquitin monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). With the distinct merits of low cost and high stability, the as-prepared MIP NPs may be utilized either separately or as an important complement to the mAbs for the purification and enrichment of ubiquitin and ubiquitinated proteins from complex biological samples. Furthermore, due to the flexibility in modification of the binding sites during or after the imprinting reactions, the results of this work also paved the way for generation of artificial receptors for branched ubiquitin chains and polyubiquitinated proteins with higher avidity and specificity.
- This article is part of the themed collection: New era in advanced functional materials emerging from molecular imprinting and related techniques