Profiling serine hydrolase activities in complex proteomes

Biochemistry. 2001 Apr 3;40(13):4005-15. doi: 10.1021/bi002579j.


Serine hydrolases represent one of the largest and most diverse families of enzymes in higher eukaryotes, comprising numerous proteases, lipases, esterases, and amidases. The activities of many serine hydrolases are tightly regulated by posttranslational mechanisms, limiting the suitability of standard genomics and proteomics methods for the functional characterization of these enzymes. To facilitate the global analysis of serine hydrolase activities in complex proteomes, a biotinylated fluorophosphonate (FP-biotin) was recently synthesized and shown to serve as an activity-based probe for several members of this enzyme family. However, the extent to which FP-biotin reacts with the complete repertoire of active serine hydrolases present in a given proteome remains largely unexplored. Herein, we describe the synthesis and utility of a variant of FP-biotin in which the agent's hydrophobic alkyl chain linker was replaced by a more hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol) moiety (FP-peg-biotin). When incubated with both soluble and membrane proteomes for extended reaction times, FP-biotin and FP-peg-biotin generated similar "maximal coverage" serine hydrolase activity profiles. However, kinetic analyses revealed that several serine hydrolases reacted at different rates with each FP agent. These rate differences were exploited in studies that used the biotinylated FPs to examine the target selectivity of reversible serine hydrolase inhibitors directly in complex proteomes. Finally, a general method for the avidin-based affinity isolation of FP-biotinylated proteins was developed, permitting the rapid and simultaneous identification of multiple serine peptidases, lipases, and esterases. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that chemical probes such as the biotinylated FPs can greatly accelerate both the functional characterization and molecular identification of active enzymes in complex proteomes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Biotin / chemical synthesis
  • Biotin / chemistry
  • Brain / enzymology
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Male
  • Organ Specificity
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / chemical synthesis
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / chemistry
  • Proteome / chemistry*
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Serine Endopeptidases / chemistry
  • Serine Endopeptidases / isolation & purification
  • Serine Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors / chemical synthesis
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Testis / enzymology


  • 10-(fluoroethoxyphosphinyl)-N-(biotinamidopentyl)decanamide
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • Proteome
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors
  • Biotin
  • Serine Endopeptidases