Protein electrophile-binding motifs: Lysine-rich proteins are preferential targets of quinones

Matthew T. Labenski, Ashley A. Fisher, Herng Hsiang Lo, Terrence J. Monks, Serrine S. Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Quinones represent an important class of endogenous compounds such as neurotransmitters and coenzyme Q10, electrophilic xenobiotics, and environmental toxicants that have known reactivity based on their ability to redox cycle and generate oxidative stress, as well as to alkylate target proteins. It is likely that topological, chemical, and physical features combine to determine which proteins become targets for chemical adduction. Chemical-induced post-translational modification of certain critical proteins causes a change in structure/function that contributes to the toxicological response to chemical exposure. In this study, we have identified a number of proteins that are modified by quinone-thioethers after administration of 2-(glutathion-S-yl)HQ. Parallel one-dimensional gel electrophoresis was performed, and the Coomassie-stained gel was aligned with the corresponding Western blot, which was probed for adductions. Immunopositive bands were then subjected to trypsin digestion and analyzed via liquid chromatography/ tandem mass spectrometry. The proteins that were subsequently identified contained a higher than average (9.7 versus 5.5%) lysine content and numerous stretches of lysine run-ons, which is a presumed electrophile binding motif. Approximately 50% of these proteins have also been identified as targets for electrophilic adduction by a diverse group of chemicals by other investigators, implying overlapping electrophile adductomes. By identifying a motif targeted by electrophiles it becomes possible to make predictions of proteins that may be targeted for adduction and possible sites on these proteins that are adducted. An understanding of proteins targeted for adduction is essential to unraveling the toxicity produced by these electrophiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1211-1218
Number of pages8
JournalDrug Metabolism and Disposition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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