Nature chemical biology

Chemical proteomics reveals new targets of cysteine sulfinic acid reductase.

PMID 30177848


Cysteine sulfinic acid or S-sulfinylation is an oxidative post-translational modification (OxiPTM) that is known to be involved in redox-dependent regulation of protein function but has been historically difficult to analyze biochemically. To facilitate the detection of S-sulfinylated proteins, we demonstrate that a clickable, electrophilic diazene probe (DiaAlk) enables capture and site-centric proteomic analysis of this OxiPTM. Using this workflow, we revealed a striking difference between sulfenic acid modification (S-sulfenylation) and the S-sulfinylation dynamic response to oxidative stress, which is indicative of different roles for these OxiPTMs in redox regulation. We also identified >55 heretofore-unknown protein substrates of the cysteine sulfinic acid reductase sulfiredoxin, extending its function well beyond those of 2-cysteine peroxiredoxins (2-Cys PRDX1-4) and offering new insights into the role of this unique oxidoreductase as a central mediator of reactive oxygen species-associated diseases, particularly cancer. DiaAlk therefore provides a novel tool to profile S-sulfinylated proteins and study their regulatory mechanisms in cells.