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Post-translational modifications of VDAC1 and VDAC2 cysteines from rat liver mitochondria

Saletti, Rosaria, Reina, Simona, Pittalà, Maria G.G., Magrì, Andrea, Cunsolo, Vincenzo, Foti, Salvatore, De Pinto, Vito
Biochimica et biophysica acta 2018 v.1859 no.9 pp. 806-816
cysteine, hydroxyapatite, liver, mitochondria, mitochondrial membrane, post-translational modification, proteins, proteolysis, rats, selenocysteine, tandem mass spectrometry, ultra-performance liquid chromatography
VDACs three isoforms (VDAC1, VDAC2, VDAC3) are integral proteins of the outer mitochondrial membrane whose primary function is to permit the communication and exchange of molecules related to the mitochondrial functions. We have recently reported about the peculiar over-oxidation of VDAC3 cysteines. In this work we have extended our analysis, performed by tryptic and chymotryptic proteolysis and UHPLC/High Resolution ESI-MS/MS, to the other two isoforms VDAC1 and VDAC2 from rat liver mitochondria, and we have been able to find also in these proteins over-oxidation of cysteines. Further PTM of cysteines as succination has been found, while the presence of selenocysteine was not detected. Unfortunately, a short sequence stretch containing one genetically encoded cysteine was not covered both in VDAC2 and in VDAC3, raising the suspect that more, unknown modifications of these proteins exist. Interestingly, cysteine over-oxidation appears to be an exclusive feature of VDACs, since it is not present in other transmembrane mitochondrial proteins eluted by hydroxyapatite. The assignment of a functional role to these modifications of VDACs will be a further step towards the full understanding of the roles of these proteins in the cell.