Probing the efficiency of proteolytic events by positional proteomics

Kim Plasman, Petra Van Damme, Dion Kaiserman, Francis Impens, Kimberly Demeyer, Kenny Helsens, Marc Goethals, Phillip I Bird, Joel Vandekerckhove, Kris Gevaert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Several mass spectrometry-driven techniques allow to map the substrate repertoires and specificities of proteases. These techniques typically yield long lists of protease substrates and processed sites with (potential) physiological relevance, but in order to understand the primary function of a protease, it is important to discern bystander substrates from critical substrates. Since the former are generally processed with lower efficiency, data on the actual substrate cleavage efficiency could assist in categorizing protease substrates. In this study, quantitative mass spectrometry following metabolic proteome labeling (SILAC), combined with the isolation of N-terminal peptides by COFRADIC, was used to monitor fluxes in the concentration of protease-generated neo-N-termini. In our experimental setup, a Jurkat cell lysate was treated with the human serine protease granzyme B (hGrB) for three different incubation periods. The extensive list of human granzyme B substrates previously catalogued by N-terminal COFRADIC (1) was then used to assign 101 unique hGrB-specific neo-N-termini in 86 proteins. In this way, we were able to define several sites as getting efficiently cleaved in vitro and consequently recognize potential physiologically more relevant substrates. Amongst them the well-known hGrB substrate Bid was confirmed as being an efficient hGrB substrate next to several other potential regulators of hGrB induced apoptosis such as Bnip-2 and Akap-8. Several of our proteomics results were further confirmed by substrate immunoblotting and by using peptide substrates incubated with human granzyme B.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 10
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular & Cellular Proteomics
Issue number2 (Art. No: M110.003301)
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Cite this