V. Cappelletti; T. Hauser; I. Piazza; M. Pepelnjak; L. Malinovska; T. Fuhrer; Y. Li; C. Dörig; P. Boersema; L. Gillet; J. Grossbach; A. Dugourd; J. Saez-Rodriguez; A. Beyer; N. Zamboni; A. Caflisch; N. de Souza; P. Picotti

Journal: Cell
Year: 2021
Volume: 184
Issue: 2
Pages: 545-559.e22
DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.12.021
Type of Publication: Journal Article

E. coli; functional proteomics; limited proteolysis; mass spectrometry; metabolism; protein aggregation; structural biology; structural proteomics; structural systems biology; yeast


Biological processes are regulated by intermolecular interactions and chemical modifications that do not affect protein levels, thus escaping detection in classical proteomic screens. We demonstrate here that a global protein structural readout based on limited proteolysis-mass spectrometry (LiP-MS) detects many such functional alterations, simultaneously and in situ, in bacteria undergoing nutrient adaptation and in yeast responding to acute stress. The structural readout, visualized as structural barcodes, captured enzyme activity changes, phosphorylation, protein aggregation, and complex formation, with the resolution of individual regulated functional sites such as binding and active sites. Comparison with prior knowledge, including other ‘omics data, showed that LiP-MS detects many known functional alterations within well-studied pathways. It suggested distinct metabolite-protein interactions and enabled identification of a fructose-1,6-bisphosphate-based regulatory mechanism of glucose uptake in E. coli. The structural readout dramatically increases classical proteomics coverage, generates mechanistic hypotheses, and paves the way for in situ structural systems biology.