The emerging field of global mass-based metabolomics provides a platform for discovering unknown metabolites and their specific biochemical pathways. We report the identification of a new endogenous metabolite, N 4-(N- acetylaminopropyl)spermidine and the use of a novel proteomics based method for the investigation of its protein interaction using metabolite immobilization on agarose beads. The metabolite was isolated from the organism Pyrococcus furiosus, and structurally characterized through an iterative process of synthesizing candidate molecules and comparative analysis using accurate mass LC-MS/MS. An approach developed for the selective preparation of N 1-acetylthermospermine, one of the possible structures of the unknown metabolite, provides a convenient route to new polyamine derivatives through methylation on the N 8 and N 4 of the thermospermine scaffold. The biochemical role of the novel metabolite as well as that of two other polyamines: spermidine and agmatine is investigated through metabolite immobilization and incubation with native proteins. The identification of eleven proteins that uniquely bind with N 4-(N-acetylaminopropyl)spermidine, provides information on the role of this novel metabolite in the native organism. Identified proteins included hypothetical ones such as PF0607 and PF1199, and those involved in translation, DNA synthesis and the urea cycle like translation initiation factor IF-2, 50S ribosomal protein L14e, DNA-directed RNA polymerase, and ornithine carbamoyltransferase. The immobilization approach demonstrated here has the potential for application to other newly discovered endogenous metabolites found through untargeted metabolomics, as a preliminary screen for generating a list of proteins that could be further investigated for specific activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry