Quantitative Profiling of Protein-Derived Electrophilic Cofactors in Bacterial Cells with a Hydrazine-Derived Probe

Xiaojian Shao, Hailei Zhang, Zhu Yang, Lin Zhu, Zongwei Cai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Post-translational modification of proteins can form electrophilic cofactors that serve as a catalytic center. The derived electrophilic cofactors greatly expand protein activities and functions. However, there are few studies concerning how to profile the electrophiles in bacteria. Herein, we utilized a clickable probe called propargyl hydrazine to profile the protein-derived electrophilic cofactors in Escherichia coli (E. coli) cells. Since the cofactors are mostly carbonyl groups, the hydrazine-based probe can specifically react with the cofactors to form a Schiff base. The labeled proteins were then pulled down for mass spectrometry (MS) analysis. Fourteen proteins were shown to undergo enrichment by the probe and competitive binding by its analogue, propyl hydrazine. The identified proteins were further analyzed with targeted proteomics based on parallel reaction monitoring (PRM). Using this strategy, we obtained a global portrait of protein electrophiles in bacterial cells, among which the proteins of speD and panD were previously reported to derive pyruvoyl group as an electrophilic center while lpp can retain N-terminal formyl methionine. This quantitative chemical proteomics strategy can be used to find out protein electrophiles in bacteria and holds great potential to further characterize the protein functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4484-4490
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number6
Early online date25 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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