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  • Author
    Alexander Sun
  • Co-author

  • Title

    Chemical Probes for Mass Spectrometric Identification of Cysteines and Caspases

  • Abstract

    Mass Spectrometry is a powerful tool to analyze protein expression in differential biological states, 

    and is capable of elucidating molecular pathways that may be 

    involved in disease. Our research group is particularly interested in using mass spectrometry 

    to interrogate cysteine proteases, enzymes which are known to regulate diverse pathways 

    involved in cellular apoptosis and immune signaling. During this fourth year research elective, 

    we present data on the development of two types of chemical probes that 

    are currently being used in biological contexts. First, we highlight the synthesis of iodoalkyne

    probes that are being used to identify cysteine residues in cellular lysates. 

    Then, we discuss the use of a pyridine aldehyde probe that we are using to label the N-termini of 

    proteins and peptides, and will find particular utility in identifying protease substrates. These two 

    probes will be broadly useful as tools to facilitate mass spectrometric identification cysteine 

    proteases and their substrates in a variety of biological contexts.

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