|Topic:||Amino-Terminal Sequence Determination .|
|Details:|| Prior to sequencing peptides it is necessary to eliminate disulfide bonds within peptides and between peptides. Several different chemical reactions can be used in order to permit separation of peptide strands and prevent protein conformations that are dependent upon disulfide bonds. The most common treatments are to use either 2-mercaptoethanol or dithiothreitol (DTT). Both of these chemicals reduce disulfide bonds. To prevent reformation of the disulfide bonds the peptides are treated with iodoacetic acid in order to alkylate the free sulfhydryls.
There are three major chemical techniques for sequencing peptides and proteins from the N-terminus. These are the Sanger, Dansyl chloride and Edman techniques.
Sanger's Reagent: This sequencing technique utilizes the compound, 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene (DNF) which reacts with the N-terminal residue under alkaline conditions. The derivatized amino acid can be hydrolyzed and will be labeled with a dinitrobenzene group that imparts a yellow color to the amino acid. Separation of the modified amino acids (DNP-derivative) by electrophoresis and comparison with the migration of DNP-derivative standards allows for the identification of the N-terminal amino acid.
Dansyl chloride: Like DNF, dansyl chloride reacts with the N-terminal residue under alkaline conditions. Analysis of the modified amino acids is carried out similarly to the Sanger method except that the dansylated amino acids are detected by fluorescence. This imparts a higher sensitivity into this technique over that of the Sanger method.
Edman degradation: The utility of the Edman degradation technique is that it allows for additional amino acid sequence to be obtained from the N-terminus inward. Using this method it is possible to obtain the entire sequence of peptides. This method utilizes phenylisothiocyanate to react with the N-terminal residue under alkaline conditions. The resultant phenylthiocarbamyl derivatized amino acid is hydrolyzed in anhydrous acid. The hydrolysis reaction results in a rearrangement of the released N-terminal residue to a phenylthiohydantoin derivative. As in the Sanger and Dansyl chloride methods, the N-terminal residue is tagged with an identifiable marker, however, the added advantage of the Edman process is that the remainder of the peptide is intact. The entire sequence of reactions can be repeated over and over to obtain the sequences of the peptide. This process has subsequently been automated to allow rapid and efficient sequencing of even extremely small quantities of peptide.
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