THRONCAT: metabolic labeling of newly synthesized proteins using a bioorthogonal threonine analog.


Profiling the nascent cellular proteome and capturing early proteomic changes in response to external stimuli provides valuable insights into cellular physiology. Existing metabolic protein labeling approaches based on bioorthogonal methionine- or puromycin analogs allow for the selective visualization and enrichment of newly synthesized proteins. However, their applications are limited as they often require methionine-free conditions, auxotrophic cells and/or are toxic to cells. Here, we introduce THRONCAT, a threonine-derived non-canonical amino acid tagging method based on the bioorthogonal threonine analog β-ethynylserine (βES) that enables efficient labeling of the nascent proteome in complete growth media within minutes. We use THRONCAT for the visualization and enrichment of nascent proteins in bacteria, mammalian cells and Drosophila melanogaster. We profile immediate proteome dynamics of B-cells in response to B-cell receptor activation simply by adding βES to the culture medium, demonstrating the ease-of-use of the method and its potential to address diverse biological questions. In addition, using a Drosophila model of Charcot-Marie-Tooth peripheral neuropathy, we show that THRONCAT enables visualization and quantification of relative protein synthesis rates in specific cell types in vivo.

More about this publication

Nature communications
  • Volume 14
  • Issue nr. 1
  • Pages 3367
  • Publication date 08-06-2023

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