Developing photoactive affinity probes for proteomic profiling: hydroxamate-based probes for metalloproteases

J Am Chem Soc. 2004 Nov 10;126(44):14435-46. doi: 10.1021/ja047044i.


The denaturing aspect of current activity-based protein profiling strategies limits the classes of chemical probes to those which irreversibly and covalently modify their targeting enzymes. Herein, we present a complimentary, affinity-based labeling approach to profile enzymes which do not possess covalently bound substrate intermediates. Using a variety of enzymes belonging to the class of metalloproteases, the feasibility of the approach was successfully demonstrated in several proof-of-concept experiments. The design template of affinity-based probes targeting metalloproteases consists of a peptidyl hydroxamate zinc-binding group (ZBG), a fluorescent reporter tag, and a photolabile diazirine group. Photolysis of the photolabile unit in the probe effectively generates a covalent, irreversible linkage between the probe and the target enzyme, rendering the enzyme distinguishable from unlabeled proteins upon separation on a SDS-PAGE gel. A variety of labeling studies were carried out to confirm that the affinity-based approach selectively labeled metalloproteases in the presence of a large excess of other proteins and that the success of the labeling reaction depends intimately upon the catalytic activity of the enzyme. Addition of competitive inhibitors proportionally diminished the extent of enzyme labeling, making the approach useful for potential in situ screening of metalloprotease inhibitors. Using different probes with varying P(1) amino acids, we were able to generate unique "fingerprint" profiles of enzymes which may be used to determine their substrate specificities. Finally, by testing against a panel of yeast metalloproteases, we demonstrated that the affinity-based approach may be used for the large-scale profiling of metalloproteases in future proteomic experiments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Affinity Labels / chemistry*
  • Bacillus / enzymology
  • Hydroxamic Acids / chemistry*
  • Metalloproteases / analysis*
  • Metalloproteases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Protease Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Thermolysin / analysis
  • Thermolysin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Thermolysin / chemistry
  • Yeasts / enzymology


  • Affinity Labels
  • Hydroxamic Acids
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • Metalloproteases
  • Thermolysin