Many cellular signaling events are regulated by tyrosine phosphorylation and mediated by the opposing actions of protein tyrosine kinases and phosphatases. Protein tyrosine phosphatases are emerging as drug targets, but poor cell permeability of inhibitors has limited the development of drugs targeting these enzymes [Tautz L, et al. (2006) Expert Opin Ther Targets 10:157-177]. Here we developed a method to monitor tyrosine phosphatase activity at the single-cell level and applied it to the identification of cell-permeable inhibitors. The method takes advantage of the fluorogenic properties of phosphorylated coumaryl amino propionic acid (pCAP), an analog of phosphotyrosine, which can be incorporated into peptides. Once delivered into cells, pCAP peptides were dephosphorylated by protein tyrosine phosphatases, and the resulting cell fluorescence could be monitored by flow cytometry and high-content imaging. The robustness and sensitivity of the assay was validated using peptides preferentially dephosphorylated by CD45 and T-cell tyrosine phosphatase and available inhibitors of these two enzymes. The assay was applied to high-throughput screening for inhibitors of CD45, an important target for autoimmunity and infectious diseases [Hermiston ML, et al. (2003) Annu Rev Immunol 21:107-137]. We identified four CD45 inhibitors that showed activity in T cells and macrophages. These results indicate that our assay can be applied to primary screening for inhibitors of CD45 and of other protein tyrosine phosphatases to increase the yield of biologically active inhibitors.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Aug 28 2012|
- Peptide substrate
- Single-cell assay
ASJC Scopus subject areas