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See detailNew mass spectrometry based methodology to sequence a whole snake venom
Echterbille, Julien ULg; Boulanger, Madeleine; Degueldre, Michel ULg et al

Poster (2014, February 10)

Animal venoms are complex chemical cocktails, comprising wide ranges of biologically active reticulated peptides that target with high selectivity and efficacy varieties of membrane receptors. Assuming ... [more ▼]

Animal venoms are complex chemical cocktails, comprising wide ranges of biologically active reticulated peptides that target with high selectivity and efficacy varieties of membrane receptors. Assuming the fact that each of the 170,000 venomous species reported can produce more than 250 bioactive toxins, at least 40,000,000 bioactive peptides and proteins may be discovered. Among the four described species of mambas, Eastern Jameson’s mamba (Dendroaspis jamesonii kaimosae) venom is the less characterized since only 9 peptides are referenced in database. This work aims at developing a new strategy devoted to the deep analysis of animal venoms. Our approach consists in a first separation of the venom using cation exchange chromatography. Each primary fraction is then purified a second time by classical RP-HPLC. A total of 328 fractions, containing amongst 1 and 4 toxins, are finally collected. MALDI-MS analysis of each fraction is done in order (1) to obtain information about masses and (2) to obtain sequences of toxins thanks to MALDI-In Source Decay (ISD) dissociation coupled with on MALDI target plate reduction of the peptides. ISD has already been demonstrated efficient for toxin sequencing, and especially when using 1,5-DAN as reducing matrix. ISD yields to sequences that cover more than 50% of peptide sequences by series of singly charged c-type ions. Thanks to this methodology, we were able to obtain 85% of satisfactory results i.e. spectra giving quite long tags of amino acids (up to 20 residues). As a way to validate our method, a tag coming from ISD spectrum interpretation has found a match in database for an Eastern Jameson’s mamba toxin. The global sequence has then been obtained by extrapolation on the ISD spectrum. Since ISD spectra are simpler than classical MS/MS spectra, automation of spectra interpretation, difficult with other fragmentation techniques (CID, ETD…), is implementable. In the near future, sequences obtained with this approach will be used to direct tests of biological activity through sequence homologies with already known ligands for different kinds of membrane receptors. [less ▲]

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See detailAdvances in proteomics for the FP7 Venomics project - Disulfide bridge assignement task
Massonnet, Philippe ULg; Upert, Gregory; Pastor, Alexandra et al

Scientific conference (2013, December 18)

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See detailAttribution of Cysteine Connectivities in small toxins - New Prospects Based on Partial Oxidation/Reduction Experiments and Ion-Mobility Mass Spectrometry
Quinton, Loïc ULg; Massonnet, Philippe ULg; Echterbille, Julien ULg et al

Conference (2013, December)

Disulfide bonds are post-translational modifications often found in biological compounds and especially in animal toxins. Disulfide bonds participate in the formation of specific folding of peptides and ... [more ▼]

Disulfide bonds are post-translational modifications often found in biological compounds and especially in animal toxins. Disulfide bonds participate in the formation of specific folding of peptides and proteins, directly related to their biological activity. Cystein pairing determinations are primordial for the synthesis of chemical homologous displaying the same bioactivity than the natural compound. This task appears already difficult when the cysteine pairings have to be determined from large proteins. The combination of physical and chemical techniques such as NMR, enzymatic proteolysis, liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, is needed to circumvent this difficulty. However, when the work concerns small compounds such as conotoxins, the problem is much more complex due to the low amount of available compound and to the lack of enzymatic cleavage sites between cysteines. In this study, we investigate the case of small peptides that contain two disulphide bonds. The idea is to determine the cystein pairings in such compounds by a chemical partial reduction (or oxidation) of the peptides, followed by the separation of the generated species by ion-mobility mass spectrometry, and their characterisation by tandem mass spectrometry. Up to now, we have investigated the partial reduction not only in solution (with DTT and TCEP) but also in the gas-phase (Electron transfer dissociation), and partial oxidation in solution (with 3-CPBA). The results demonstrate an unexpected complexity of the data, including low fragmentation ratios of peptides and disulfide scramblings. [less ▲]

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See detailPeptidomic comparison and characterization of the major components of the venom of the giant ant Dinoponera quadriceps collected in four different areas of Brazil.
Cologna, Camila Takeno; Cardoso, Jaqueline Dos Santos; Jourdan, Emmanuel et al

in Journal of Proteomics (2013), 94

Despite the noxious effects inflicted by Dinoponera ant's envenomation, the information about the biological properties and composition of their venom is still very limited. Ants from the genus Dinoponera ... [more ▼]

Despite the noxious effects inflicted by Dinoponera ant's envenomation, the information about the biological properties and composition of their venom is still very limited. Ants from the genus Dinoponera are believed to be the world's largest living ants with a body length of 3cm. Their occurrence is restricted to tropical areas of South America. In this work, we study the venom of the giant Dinoponera quadriceps ant collected in 4 different regions of Brazil. By using a combination of complementary mass spectrometric approaches, we aim at: (i) characterizing the venom composition of these ants; (ii) establishing a comparative analysis of the venom from four geographically different regions in Brazil. This approach demonstrates that ant venom is a copious source of new compounds. Several peptides were identified and selected for "de novo sequencing". Since most of the new peptides showed similarities with antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), antimicrobial assays were performed with the purpose of evaluating their activity. In regard to the comparative study of the four regions, we observed not only major differences in the venom compositions, but also that the venoms collected in closest areas are more similar than the ones collected in distant regions. These observations seem to highlight an adaption of the ant venoms to the local environment. Concerning the biological assays, the peptides called Dq-3162 and Da-3177 showed a wide-ranging antimicrobial activity. The characterization of new AMPs with a broad spectrum of activity and different scaffolds may aid scientists to design new therapeutic agents and understand the mechanisms of those peptides to interact with microbial membranes. The results obtained betoken the biotechnological potential of ant's venom. BIOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE: For the first time this manuscript describes an extensive proteomics characterization of the D. quadriceps venom. In addition this study reports the variation in venom composition of primitive ants from 4 geographically different areas of Brazil. The results reveal the presence of ~335 compounds for each venom/area and inter-colony variations were observed. 16 new peptides were characterized and 2 of them were synthesized and biologically assayed. These findings highlight the considerable and still unexplored diversity of ant's venom which could be used as valuable research tools in different areas of knowledge. [less ▲]

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See detailStructural characterization of disulfide-bridged-peptides by a combined use of ETD, CID and Ion-Mobility mass spectrometry
Massonnet, Philippe ULg; Upert, Gregory; Pastor, Alexandra et al

Conference (2013, September 05)

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See detailUse of 1,5-diaminonaphthalene to combine matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization in-source decay fragmentation with hydrogen/deuterium exchange
Lemaire, Pascale; Debois, Delphine ULg; Smargiasso, Nicolas ULg et al

in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry [=RCM] (2013), 27(16), 1837-1846

In-Source Decay (ISD) in Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry is a fast and easy top-down activation method. Our objective is to find a suitable matrix to locate the ... [more ▼]

In-Source Decay (ISD) in Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry is a fast and easy top-down activation method. Our objective is to find a suitable matrix to locate the deuterons following in-solution hydrogen/deuterium exchange (HDX). This matrix must circumvent the commonly encountered undesired back-exchange reactions, in order to preserve the regioselective deuteration pattern. The 1,5-diaminonaphthalene (1,5-DAN) matrix is known to be suitable for MALDI-ISD fragmentation. MALDI Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) was employed to compare 1,5-DAN and other commonly used MALDI matrices with respect to the extent of back-exchange and the uniformity of the H/D exchange profiles within the MALDI spots. We tested the back-exchange on the highly sensitive amyloid-beta peptide (1-40), and proved the regioselectivity on ubiquitin and b-endorphin. MALDI-MSI results show that 1,5-DAN leads to the least back-exchange over all the spot. MALDI-ISD fragmentation combined with H/D exchange using 1,5-DAN matrix was validated by localizing deuterons in native ubiquitin. Results agree with previous data obtained by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Electron Transfer Dissociation (ETD). Moreover, 1,5-DAN matrix was used to study the H/D exchange profile of the methanol-induced helical structure of b-endorphin, and the relative protection can be explained by the polarity of residues involved in hydrogen bond formation. We found that controlling crystallization is the most important parameter when combining H/D exchange with MALDI. The 1,5-DAN matrix is characterized by a fast crystallization kinetics, and therefore gives robust and reliable H/D exchange profiles using MALDI-ISD. [less ▲]

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See detailDe novo sequencing of unusual non tryptic peptides thanks to 4-sulfophenylisothiocyanate derivatization by post-source decay MALDI-MS.
Echterbille, Julien ULg; Quinton, Loïc ULg; Escoubas, Pierre et al

Poster (2013, June 11)

Introduction Due to the specificity of trypsin, tryptic peptides contain basic residues on the C-terminal side. This feature provides good ionization efficiency, and facilitates fragmentation processes ... [more ▼]

Introduction Due to the specificity of trypsin, tryptic peptides contain basic residues on the C-terminal side. This feature provides good ionization efficiency, and facilitates fragmentation processes. In the case of non tryptic peptides, the absence of basic residues at one extremity implicates lower fragmentation ratio and poor MS/MS spectra. Several methods have been developed to circumvent this drawback. Derivatization of peptides with compounds containing positive charge has been studied; Chen et al. (RCMS, 2004, 18, 191) demonstrated the simplification of CID spectra of tryptic peptides modified by 4-sulfophenylisothiocyanate. The result is a predominance of y-type ions. In this work, we evaluate the potential of SPITC for the de novo sequencing of unknown non-tryptic peptides containing disulfide bridges, i.e. peptide toxins from animal venoms. Methods 2µL of peptide solution (100 µM) were diluted in 6µL NH4HCO3 50mM (pH 8.7). As peptide toxins often contain disulfide bridges, reduction (2µL DTT 50mM, 1h at 56°C) and alkylation (2µL IAA 500mM, 1h in darkness at RT) of peptides were performed before the derivatization reaction. Peptides were then adsorbed on a C18 ZipTip micro-column followed by 10 µL of 4-sulfophenylisothiocyanate (SPITC) 50mM. The column was then incubated for 6h at 56°C. Peptides were washed by TFA 0.2% and eluted in 10µL 50/50 ACN/FA 0.1%, before being spotted in 2,5-DHB. MS experiments were performed using a Bruker Ultraflex II MALDI-TOF/TOF. FlexControl 3.0, FlexAnalysis 3.0, BioTools 3.2 and SequenceEditor 3.2 softwares (Bruker Daltonics, Bremen) were used for data acquisition and interpretation. Preliminary data According to our first results, SPITC derivatization allows in positive mode to direct the fragmentation thanks to the acidic character of the sulfonate moiety present on the modified molecule. Indeed, a large series of y-type ions is found in the CID spectra allowing determining easily large sequence tags. Moreover, the number of C-terminus ions (b- and a-type ions) decreases, which improve the simplification of MS/MS spectra. Due to this fragmentation pattern, SPITC derivatization is clearly valuable for the sequencing of peptides that are not described in databases (de novo sequencing). For example, animal venoms are composed of several hundreds of peptides that are poorly studied, up to now. These peptides display a high importance for pharmaceutical applications and their sequencing is, as a consequence, of prime interest. Peptide toxins, which are not resulting from an enzymatic digestion, are however difficult to sequence by classical MS/MS methods. In this work, we demonstrate that the modification of peptide toxins with SPITC reagent is suitable for “real” de novo sequencing. The method was applied to isolated peptides as well as chromatographic fractions that contain up to 30 toxins. The perspectives of this work rest on the study of the SPITC modified peptides in negative mode. We expect to obtain a better sensitivity due to the presence of the negative sulfonic acid group at the N-terminus extremity, and also interesting MS/MS spectra including mainly a- or b-type ions. The final challenge will be the application of the protocol to high throughput sequencing of peptide toxins from a large variety of animal venoms. Novel aspect De novo sequencing of unusual non-tryptic peptides thanks to 4-sulfophenylisothiocyanate derivatization by post-source decay MALDI-MS [less ▲]

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See detailLes venins animaux sont-ils les pharmaciens du futur?
Quinton, Loïc ULg

in Chimie Nouvelle (2013)

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See detailLes venins d'animaux, nouvelle panacée?
Echterbille, Julien ULg; Quinton, Loïc ULg; De Pauw, Edwin ULg

in Athena (2013)

Araignées, serpents, scorpions,… autant d’animaux ayant une place particulière dans l’imaginaire collectif. Fascinants, horripilants voire même terrifiants, les adjectifs ne manquent pas pour qualifier ... [more ▼]

Araignées, serpents, scorpions,… autant d’animaux ayant une place particulière dans l’imaginaire collectif. Fascinants, horripilants voire même terrifiants, les adjectifs ne manquent pas pour qualifier les réactions qu’ils suscitent auprès des populations. Que dire alors de la peur engendrée par leur venin. Une simple piqûre, morsure ou contact peut s’avérer extrêmement dangereux voire létal... [less ▲]

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See detailAdvances in proteomics for the FP7 Venomics project
Degueldre, Michel ULg; Quinton, Loïc ULg; De Pauw, Edwin ULg

Scientific conference (2013, April)

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See detailBcsTx3 is a founder of a novel sea anemone toxin family of potassium channel blocker
Orts, Diego; Moran, Yehu; Cologna, Camila et al

in FEBS Journal (2013), 280

Sea anemone venoms have become a rich source of peptide toxins which are invaluable tools for studying the structure and functions of ion channels. In this work, BcsTx3, a toxin found in the venom of a ... [more ▼]

Sea anemone venoms have become a rich source of peptide toxins which are invaluable tools for studying the structure and functions of ion channels. In this work, BcsTx3, a toxin found in the venom of a Bunodosoma caissarum (population captured at the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, Brazil) was purified and biochemically and pharmacologically characterized. The pharmacological effects were studied on 12 different subtypes of voltage-gated potassium channels (KV1.1–KV1.6; KV2.1; KV3.1; KV4.2; KV4.3; hERG and Shaker IR) and three cloned voltagegated sodium channel isoforms (NaV1.2, NaV1.4 and BgNaV1.1) expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. BcsTx3 shows a high affinity for Drosophila Shaker IR channels over rKv1.2, hKv1.3 and rKv1.6, and is not active on NaV channels. Biochemical characterization reveals that BcsTx3 is a 50 amino acid peptide crosslinked by four disulfide bridges, and sequence comparison allowed BcsTx3 to be classified as a novel type of sea anemone toxin acting on KV channels. Moreover, putative toxins homologous to BcsTx3 from two additional actiniarian species suggest an ancient origin of this newly discovered toxin family. [less ▲]

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See detailMALDI In-Source Decay, from sequencing to imaging
Debois, Delphine ULg; Smargiasso, Nicolas ULg; Demeure, Kevin ULg et al

in Topics in Current Chemistry (2013), 331

MALDI is now a mature method allowing the identification and, more challenging, the quantification of biopolymers (proteins, nucleic acids, glycans…). MALDI spectra show mostly intact singly charged ions ... [more ▼]

MALDI is now a mature method allowing the identification and, more challenging, the quantification of biopolymers (proteins, nucleic acids, glycans…). MALDI spectra show mostly intact singly charged ions. To obtain fragments, the activation of singly charged precursors is necessary, but not efficient above 3.5 kDa thus making MALDI MS/MS difficult for large species. In-source decay (ISD) is a prompt fragmentation reaction that can be induced thermally or by radicals. As fragments are formed in the source, precursor ions cannot be selected; however, the technique is not limited by the mass of the analyzed compounds and pseudo MS/MS can be performed on intense fragments. The discovery of new matrices that enhance the ISD yield, combined with the high sensitivity of MALDI mass spectrometers, and software development, opens new perspectives. We first review the mechanisms involved in the ISD processes, then discuss ISD applications like top-down sequencing and post-translational modifications studies, and finally review MALDI-ISD tissue imaging applications. [less ▲]

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See detailExpression of a protease of biotechnological interest cloned from C. d. collilineatus venom gland
Boldrini-Franca, Johaha; Rodrigues, RS; Santos-Silva, LK et al

Poster (2013)

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See detailPeptide backbone fragmentation initiated by side-chain loss at cysteine residue in matrixassisted laser desorption/ionization in-source decay mass spectrometry
Asakawa, Daiki; Smargiasso, Nicolas ULg; Quinton, Loïc ULg et al

in Journal of Mass Spectrometry [=JMS] (2013), 48

Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization in-source decay (MALDI-ISD) is initiated by hydrogen transfer from matrix molecules to the carbonyl oxygen of peptide backbone with subsequent radical-induced ... [more ▼]

Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization in-source decay (MALDI-ISD) is initiated by hydrogen transfer from matrix molecules to the carbonyl oxygen of peptide backbone with subsequent radical-induced cleavage leading to c0/z• fragments pair. MALDI-ISD is a very powerful method to obtain long sequence tags from proteins or to do de novo sequencing of peptides. Besides classical fragmentation, MALDI-ISD also shows specific fragments for which the mechanism of formation enlightened the MALDI-ISD process. In this study, the MALDI-ISD mechanism is reviewed, and a specific mechanism is studied in details: the N-terminal side of Cys residue (Xxx-Cys) is described to promote the generation of c0 and w fragments in MALDI-ISD. Our data suggest that for sequences containing Xxx-Cys motifs, the N–Ca bond cleavage occurs following the hydrogen attachment to the thiol group of Cys side-chain. The c•/w fragments pair is formed by side-chain loss of the Cys residue with subsequent radical-induced cleavage at the N–Ca bond located at the left side (N-terminal direction) of the Cys residue. This fragmentation pathway preferentially occurs at free Cys residue and is suppressedwhen the cysteines are involved in disulfide bonds. Hydrogen attachment to alkylated Cys residues using iodoacetamide gives free Cys residue by the loss of •CH2CONH2 radical. The presence of alkylated Cys residue also suppress the formation of c•/w fragments pair via the (Cb)-centered radical, whereas w fragment is still observed as intense signal. In this case, the z• fragment formed by hydrogen attachment of carbonyl oxygen followed side-chain loss at alkylated Cys leads to a w fragment. Hydrogen attachment on peptide backbone and side-chain of Cys residue occurs therefore competitively during MALDI-ISD process. [less ▲]

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