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Immunology and Infection

Co-immunoprecipitation Assay for Studying Functional Interactions Between Receptors and Enzymes

Published: September 28th, 2018



1Pulmonary Department, The Chaim Sheba Medical Center, 2Columbia Center for Translational Immunology, Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center

Here, we present a protocol for co-immunoprecipitation and an on-bead enzymatic activity assay to simultaneously study the contribution of specific protein domains of plasma membrane receptors to both enzyme recruitment and enzyme activity.

Receptor-associated enzymes are the major mediators of cellular activation. These enzymes are regulated, at least in part, by physical interactions with cytoplasmic tails of the receptors. The interactions often occur through specific protein domains and result in activation of the enzymes. There are several methods to study interactions between proteins. While co-immunoprecipitation is commonly used to study domains that are required for protein-protein interactions, there are no assays that document the contribution of specific domains to activity of the recruited enzymes at the same time. Accordingly, the method described here combines co-immunoprecipitation and an on-bead enzymatic activity assay for simultaneous evaluation of interactions between proteins and associated enzymatic activation. The goal of this protocol is to identify the domains that are critical for physical interactions between a protein and enzyme and the domains that are obligatory for complete activation of the enzyme. The importance of this assay is demonstrated, as certain receptor protein domains contribute to the binding of the enzyme to the cytoplasmic tail of the receptor, while other domains are necessary to regulate the function of the same enzyme.

Catalytic receptors and receptor tyrosine kinases are transmembrane proteins in which binding of an extracellular ligand causes enzymatic activity on the intracellular side1. Some receptors possess both receptor and enzymatic functions, while others recruit specific enzymes such as kinases and phosphatases to their cytoplasmic tails. Recruitment of an enzyme to the receptor's tail and the subsequent catalytic action of this enzyme are two separate processes that are not always regulated by the same protein domains2. Unfortunately, there are no specific tools to assess both the interaction and enzymatic activity simul....

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1. Transfection of Cells

  1. Seed HEK 293T cells into twelve 10 cm plates (5 x 106 cells per plate) the day before transfection (Figure 1). Perform the cell counting using a hemocytometer. For each plate, use 10 mL of DMEM supplemented with 10% FBS and 1% penicillin/streptomycin. Incubate the cells at 37 °C in 5% CO2.
  2. Once the cells are 80-90% confluent, transfect 5 HEK 293T plates using a lipid-based transfection reagent with one of the following.......

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While the contribution of the ITSM of PD-1 to SHP2 binding is established, the role of the ITIM of PD-1 is less clear. Because SHP2 has two SH2 domains that can bind to two sequential phosphotyrosines on PD-1 (one tyrosine in the ITSM and another in the ITIM), we hypothesized that the ITSM of PD-1 anchors SHP2 to PD-1, while the ITIM of PD-1 facilitates SHP2 activity by stabilizing its open conformational state11,14. To test this,.......

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Receptor-enzyme interactions are crucial for intracellular signaling. Many enzymes are recruited to receptors through SH2 domains binding to phosphorylated tyrosines that decorate tails of the same receptors. However, enzymes are often folded into closed inactive conformations, and activation requires a conformational change11 that can be mediated by other domains of the same receptor. The assay described here measures the interactions between receptors and enzymes as well as the activity induced .......

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This project was funded by NIH Grants 1R01AI125640-01 and the Rheumatology Research Foundation.


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Name Company Catalog Number Comments
PBS Lonza 17-516F Phosphate Buffered Saline
Microcentrifuge Eppendorf 5424-R 1.5 ml
Trypsin-EDTA (0.25%) Phenol Red Gibco 25200114
Heat Inactivated FBS Denville FB5001-H Fetal bovine serum
Penicillin / Streptomycin Fisher BP295950
DMEM high glucose without L-glutamine Lonza BE12-614F
SuperFect Transfection Reagent Qiagen 301305
Anti-SHP2 Santa Cruz SC-280
Anti–GFP-agarose MBL D153-8
Anti-GFP Roche 118144600
Anti-Actin Santa Cruz SC-1616
HEK-293 cells ATCC CRL-1573
Orthovanadate Sigma S6508
H2O2 Sigma 216763 30%
Protease inhibitor cocktail Roche 11836170001 EDTA-free
Tris-Glycine SDS Sample Buffer (2X) Invitrogen LC2676 Modified Laemmli buffer
4-20% Tris-Glycine Mini Gels Invitrogen XP04205BOX 15-well
Nitrocellulose membranes General Electric 10600004
NaCl Sigma S7653 Sodium chloride
HEPES Gibco 15630080 N-2-hydroxyethylpiperazine-N-2-ethane sulfonic acid
DTT Invitrogen D1532 Dithiothreitol
pNPP Sigma 20-106 p-Nitrophenyl Phosphate
NaOH Sigma S8045 Sodium hydroxide
BCA Fisher 23225 Bi Cinchoninic Acid assay

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