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Posttranslational Modification of Proteins by ADP-ribosylation
This work presents the development of a highly sensitive and selective chemical assay for mono(ADP-ribose) residues covalently bound to proteins in vivo. An extensive review of the literature is presented in the introduction of this work. The physiological.functions of mono(ADP-ribosyl)transferase activities associated with certain bacterial toxins (e.g., diphtheria, cholera and pertussis toxins) are well established. However, the roles of endogenous vertebrate transferases are unknown. The elucidation of the roles of these cellular transferases will likely require identification of the physiologically relevant target proteins. Toward this end, it will also be important to identify the types of (ADP-ribose)-protein linkages present in vivo. ADP-ribosylation reactions catalyzed by the different bacterial and vertebrate transferases are specific for different amino acid acceptors in vitro. However, the vertebrate transferases that have been characterized thus far are NAD:arginine mono(ADP-ribosyl)transferases. The work presented here describes the development of a chemical assay for the detection of in vivo modified, ADP-ribosylated proteins containing N-glycosylic linkages to arginine. The assay was applied to the analysis of ADP-ribose residues in adult rat liver. The strategy employed for detection of protein-bound ADP-ribose residues eliminated potential artifacts arising from trapped nucleotides (or their degradation products), since the acid-insoluble material was completely dissolved in a strongly denaturing solution and freed of non-covalently bound nucleotides prior to chemical release from proteins. Thus, the studies presented here demonstrate the unambiguous detection and quantification of protein-bound ADP-ribose residues in adult rat liver. "Arginine-linked" mono(ADP-ribose) residues (31.8 pmol/mg protein) were present in vivo at a level almost 400-fold higher than poly(ADP-ribose). A minor fraction (23%) of the ADP—ribose residues detected were bound via a second more labile linkage with chemical properties very similar to those described previously for carboxlylate esterlinked ADP-ribose. After fractionation of rat liver proteins by gel filtration HPLC, the major peak of "arginine-linked" ADP-ribose residues ...