Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 32478756
Link to DOI – 10.3791/61146
J Vis Exp 2020 05; (159):
Lipoproteins from proteobacteria are posttranslationally modified by fatty acids derived from membrane phospholipids by the action of three integral membrane enzymes, resulting in triacylated proteins. The first step in the lipoprotein modification pathway involves the transfer of a diacylglyceryl group from phosphatidylglycerol onto the prolipoprotein, resulting in diacylglyceryl prolipoprotein. In the second step, the signal peptide of prolipoprotein is cleaved, forming an apolipoprotein, which in turn is modified by a third fatty acid derived from a phospholipid. This last step is catalyzed by apolipoprotein N-acyltransferase (Lnt). The lipoprotein modification pathway is essential in most γ-proteobacteria, making it a potential target for the development of novel antibacterial agents. Described here is a sensitive assay for Lnt that is compatible with high-throughput screening of small inhibitory molecules. The enzyme and substrates are membrane-embedded molecules; therefore, the development of an in vitro test is not straightforward. This includes the purification of the active enzyme in the presence of detergent, the availability of alkyne-phospholipids and diacylglyceryl peptide substrates, and the reaction conditions in mixed micelles. Furthermore, in order to use the activity test in a high-throughput screening (HTS) setup, direct readout of the reaction product is preferred over coupled enzymatic reactions. In this fluorometric enzyme assay, the alkyne-triacylated peptide product is rendered fluorescent through a click-chemistry reaction and detected in a multiwell plate format. This method is applicable to other acyltransferases that use fatty acid-containing substrates, including phospholipids and acyl-CoA.