Discovering Protein‐Protein Interactions Using Nucleic Acid Programmable Protein Arrays

Yanyang Tang1, Ji Qiu1, Matthias Machner2, Joshua LaBaer1

1 Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics, Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, 2 Division of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Cell Biology
Unit Number:  Unit 15.21
DOI:  10.1002/cpcb.14
Online Posting Date:  March, 2017
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We have developed a protocol enabling the study of protein‐protein interactions (PPIs) at the proteome level using in vitro–synthesized proteins. Assay preparation requires molecular cloning of the query gene into a vector that supports in vitro transcription/translation (IVTT) and appends a HaloTag to the query protein of interest. In parallel, protein microarrays are prepared by printing plasmids encoding glutathione S‐transferase (GST)‐tagged target proteins onto a carrier matrix/glass slide coated with antibody directed against GST. At the time of the experiment, the query protein and the target protein are produced separately through IVTT. The query protein is then applied to nucleic acid programmable protein arrays (NAPPA) that display thousands of freshly produced target proteins captured by anti‐GST antibody. Interactions between the query and immobilized target proteins are detected through addition of a fluorophore‐labeled HaloTag ligand. Our protocol allows the elucidation of PPIs in a high‐throughput fashion using proteins produced in vitro, obviating the scientific challenges, high cost, and laborious work, as well as concerns about protein stability, which are usually present in protocols using conventional protein arrays. © 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Keywords: protein‐protein interactions; protein arrays; NAPPA; cell‐free gene expression; HaloTag

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Table of Contents

  • Reagents and Solutions
  • Commentary
  • Literature cited
  • Figures
  • Tables
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Basic Protocol 1:

  • Entry/expression vectors including pDONR221, pJFT7_nHALO_DC, pJFT7_nHALO_empty, pANT7_cGST (DNASU Plasmid Repository)
  • Gateway LR Clonase enzyme mix (Thermo Fisher Scientific, cat. no. 11791019; store at −20 °C; always keep on ice when in use)
  • MAX Efficiency E. coli DH5‐α competent cells (Thermo Fisher Scientific, cat. no. 18258012; store at −80°C)
  • SOC medium (Thermo Fisher Scientific, cat. no. 15544034)
  • LB agar and LB liquid medium (see recipe for LB medium in appendix 2A) containing 100 µg/ml ampicillin (sodium salt; Sigma‐Aldrich, cat. no. A9518‐25 G)
  • 80% (v/v) glycerol stock solution
  • QIAprep Spin Miniprep kit (Qiagen, cat. no. 27106)
  • Sequencing primers for pJFT7_nHALO_query_gene:
  • Nucleobond xtra Maxi kit (Macherey‐Nagel, cat. no. 740 414.50)
  • Human HeLa lysate‐based cell‐free expression system (1‐step Human Coupled IVT Kit, Thermo Fisher Scientific, cat. no. 88881; stored at −80°C and limit to three freeze/thaw cycles; aliquot if needed; always keep on ice when use)
  • Alexa Fluor 660‐HaloTag ligand (Promega, cat. no. G8471)
  • 4× Laemmli sample buffer (Bio‐Rad, cat. no. 1610747)
  • Mouse anti‐GST primary antibody (26H1; Cell Signaling Technology, cat. no. 2624)
  • Alexa Fluor 647‐goat anti‐mouse IgG secondary antibody (Thermo Fisher Scientific, cat. no. A‐21235)
  • SuperBlock blocking buffer (Pierce, cat. no. 37535)
  • Phosphate‐buffered saline with Tween 20 (PBST): phosphate‐buffered saline (PBS; appendix 2A), pH 7.4, containing 0.2% (v/v) Tween 20 (Sigma‐Aldrich, cat. no. P1379)
  • PPI blocking buffer (see recipe)
  • PPI washing buffer (see recipe)
  • 42ºC water bath
  • Sterile applicators for bacteria
  • Thermal shaker for microtubes (BIOTANG, cat. no. MS‐100)
  • New Brunswick Innova 44 Incubator Shaker (Eppendorf, cat. no. M1282‐0000)
  • NanoDrop spectrophotometer
  • EchoTherm programmable chilling/heating incubator (Torrey Pines Scientific, cat. no. 11‐680‐35)
  • Typhoon FLA 9500 Scanner (GE Healthcare, cat. no. 28‐9969‐43)
  • NAPPA arrays printed with target ORF sequences in pANT7_cGST expression vector (NAPPA Protein Array Core;; customized NAPPA arrays can also be fabricated by the users according to the published protocol (Ramachandran et al., ; Miersch and LaBaer, ; Qiu and LaBaer, ; Sibani and LaBaer, ) and tutorial video (; Miersch and LaBaer, ); store under anhydrous conditions for up to 6 months at room temperature (23°C)
  • CELLSTAR FourWell plate (VWR, cat. no. 30617‐596)
  • VWR Rocking Platform Shaker (VWR, cat. no. 4000‐304)
  • Slotted rack for glass microscope sides (Sigma‐Aldrich, cat. no. Z710989)
  • Allegra X‐12 Benchtop Centrifuge (Beckman Coulter, cat. no. Allegr X‐12R)
  • HBW HybriWell sealing system (Grace Bio‐Labs, cat. no. 440904)
  • Wooden applicator stick
  • Tweezers
  • Corning 245 mm Square BioAssay Dish (Fisher Scientific, cat. no. 06‐443‐22)
  • StainTray slide staining system (Sigma‐Aldrich, cat. no. Z670146)
  • Tecan PowerScanner (Tecan)
  • Array‐Pro analyzer, version 6.3 (Media Cybernetics)
  • Excel 2013 software (Microsoft)
  • Additional reagents and equipment for SDS‐PAGE (unit 6.1; Gallagher, )
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