Protease OMA1 Activity is Measured by MCA Fluorescent Peptide

– Fig. 1. Basis of the OMA1 activity using fluorescence-based peptide.
Fluorescence is released when OMA1 recognizes and cleaves the OPA1 8-mer
peptide (fluorescence reporter) presumably at the RA site, from the cited paper

The continual fission and fusion the Mitochondria undergoes to change its shape and function are a key trait of the organelle, one that is regulated by the enzyme OMA1. However, there is little known regarding OMA1 due to the lack of a consistent method to measure its activity. More information is needed to truly gauge the role of OMA1 as a therapeutic agent. This is where one group sought to measure this activity utilizing a fluorescence-based reporter cleavage assay, one where the protease OMA1 activity is measured by MCA fluorescent peptide.

OMA1 activity measured by (MCA-AFRATDHG-(lys)DNP) peptide

The group arrived at this specific sequence as it includes the specific point on protein OPA1 (between the arginine and alanine) that OMA1 cleaves. They would then be able to spectrofluorometrically measure the fluorescent MCA moiety after the cleavage takes place. The assay proved successful in measuring the activity of OMA1, and in an inexpensive manner. The work clearly lays out the foundation for future studies of OMA1, in both its normal and abnormal pathology.

Julia Tobacyk, Nirmala Parajuli, Stephen Shrum, John P. Crow, Lee Ann MacMillan-Crow, The first direct activity assay for the mitochondrial protease OMA1, Mitochondrion, Volume 46, 2019, Pages 1-5, ISSN 1567-7249,

Revolutionary Antimicrobial Peptides: A New Hope in the Battle Against Citrus Greening

Citrus greening, or Huanglongbing (HLB), is a disease that devastates citrus production all over the world. The culprit behind HLB is the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter spp. (e.g., CLas), an unculturable pathogen that has proven very difficult to treat. Once a tree is infected, it becomes unproductive and dies within years, costing the global citrus market billions. While current attempts to combat HLB rely on controlling the insect vector, scientists have turned some attention toward the potential of peptides. Their work displayed how antimicrobial peptides show promise for combatting citrus greening, mainly by methods against CLas itself.

Antimicrobial peptides effective against CLas bacteria

With not many current effective options to fight HLB, scientists believe the next area of interest is targeting the CLas secretory pathway using antimicrobial peptides provided by LifeTein. Specifically, the antimicrobial peptides would be blocking the TolC efflux pump protein. The study found three peptides capable of doing this by binding tightly with the TolC receptors and even the β barrel entrance of the protein as well. Treatment with peptides in this manner showed effective inhibition and even mortality in models closely resembling CLas.

The studies displayed using antimicrobial peptides show major promise for future treatment of HLB. With the chemical-resistant bacteria CLas being nearly impossible to slow down, peptides just may have been holding the solution all along. There is hope that new therapies can be developed utilizing the strategies shown, and global citrus production can rest easy after decades of HLB ravaging the farms.

Wang, Haoqi, Nirmitee Mulgaonkar, Samavath Mallawarachchi, Manikandan Ramasamy, Carmen S. Padilla, Sonia Irigoyen, Gitta Coaker, Kranthi K. Mandadi, and Sandun Fernando. 2022. “Evaluation of Candidatus Liberibacter Asiaticus Efflux Pump Inhibition by Antimicrobial Peptides” Molecules 27, no. 24: 8729.

Revolutionary LIPSTIC Method Illuminates Receptor-Ligand Interactions In Vivo And In Vitro

-LIPTSTIC mechanism, from the cited paper.

Cell interaction analysis is a cornerstone of biological research, providing critical insights into the intricate world of molecular communication within living organisms. While traditional microscopy offers a glimpse into these interactions, it often falls short when it comes to revealing the specific receptors and ligands involved. Enter a groundbreaking method known as Labeling Immune Partnerships by SorTagging Intercellular Contacts, or LIPSTIC for short, which has been developed by a team of innovative scientists.

At the heart of LIPSTIC lies the ingenious combination of a fluorescent LPXTG peptide motif and Staphylococcus aureus transpeptidase Sortase A (SrtA), offering a highly effective means of tracking and studying cell interactions. This novel approach is readily detectable through flow cytometry, making it a game-changer in the field of biological research.

The LIPSTIC method hinges on the LPETG peptide and SrtA reaction, a technique that allows for the labeling of receptor and ligand interactions. LifeTein, a leading supplier in the life sciences industry, played a pivotal role by providing the necessary Biotin-ahx-LPETG peptide to the research group. In the LIPSTIC method, a noteworthy ligand or receptor is fused with a tag composed of five N-terminal glycine residues (G5). The SrtA enzyme then graciously donates the fluorescent peptide to this fusion, enabling precise monitoring of the acceptor cell post-separation.

One of the most impressive aspects of LIPSTIC is its versatility. It empowers scientists to analyze cell-cell interactions both in vitro and in vivo, offering a comprehensive understanding of molecular partnerships in various biological contexts. Moreover, LIPSTIC’s sensitivity is a standout feature, as it can even detect rare or low-intensity interactions that might have otherwise remained hidden.

In conclusion, the introduction of the LIPSTIC method marks a significant advancement in the field of cell interaction analysis. Its ability to unveil the intricacies of receptor-ligand interactions in living systems, along with its applicability in diverse research settings, positions LIPSTIC as a powerful tool for scientists striving to unlock the secrets of cellular communication.

Pasqual G, Chudnovskiy A, Tas JMJ, Agudelo M, Schweitzer LD, Cui A, Hacohen N, Victora GD. Monitoring T cell-dendritic cell interactions in vivo by intercellular enzymatic labeling. Nature. 2018 Jan 25;553(7689):496-500. doi: 10.1038/nature25442. Epub 2018 Jan 17. PMID: 29342141; PMCID: PMC5853129.

Exploring the Role of Methylated Peptides in Histone Methylation: A LifeTein Perspective

Post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histone proteins, such as acetylation, methylation, and phosphorylation, are pivotal in regulating chromatin dynamics. Among these, the role of methylation, particularly at arginine or lysine residues, stands out for its complexity and significance. LifeTein, a leader in peptide synthesis, has contributed significantly to this field by synthesizing mono-, di-, or tri-methylated peptides. These peptides are instrumental in studying protein-protein interactions, especially in the context of histone methylation.

Histone methylation, a process that can signal either transcriptional repression or activation, is increasingly recognized for its interrelation with DNA methylation in mammals. For instance, the targeting of DNA methylation is intricately linked to H3K9 methylation, a key regulatory mechanism in gene expression. The p53 gene, known as the guardian of the genome and frequently mutated in human cancers, is regulated by various PTMs, including methylation.

LifeTein’s contribution to this research is highlighted in a study focusing on the ASHH2 CW domain, which is responsible for recognizing the methylation state at lysine 4 of histone 3 N-terminal tails. This domain is crucial in recruiting the ASHH2 methyltransferase enzyme to histones. The study utilized H3 histone tail mimicking peptides, specifically monomethylated (ARTK(me1)QTAR), dimethylated (ARTK(me2)QTAR), and trimethylated (ARTK(me3)QTAR) peptides, all synthesized by LifeTein with a remarkable 95% purity as confirmed by mass spectrometry.

The research documented the assignment of a shortened ASHH2 CW construct, CW42, which showed similar binding affinity and better expression yields than previous constructs. This advancement is significant in understanding how different methylation states affect protein-peptide interactions. The study also performed 1H–15N HSQC-monitored titrations to determine the saturation point of the protein-peptide complex. The findings revealed that the CW42 domain, when bound to the monomethylated histone tail mimic, showed similar perturbations in shifts as the di- and tri-methylated instances.

In summary, LifeTein’s synthetic methylated peptides have been instrumental in advancing our understanding of histone methylation. Their high-purity peptides have enabled researchers to delve deeper into the complexities of chromatin dynamics and gene regulation, paving the way for future discoveries in epigenetic therapies and cancer treatment.

Read the full article on SpringerLink]( for more detailed insights into this groundbreaking research.