Covalent binding of the organophosphorus agent FP-biotin to tyrosine in eight proteins that have no active site serine

Hasmik Grigoryan, Bin Li, Erica K. Anderson, Weihua Xue, Florian Nachon, Oksana Lockridge, Lawrence M. Schopfer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Organophosphorus (OP) esters are known to bind covalently to the active site serine of enzymes in the serine hydrolase family. It was a surprise to find that proteins with no active site serine are also covalently modified by OP. The binding site in albumin, transferrin, and tubulin was identified as tyrosine. The goal of the present work was to determine whether binding to tyrosine is a general phenomenon. Fourteen proteins were treated with a biotin-tagged organophosphorus agent called FP-biotin. The proteins were digested with trypsin and the labeled peptides enriched by binding to monomeric avidin. Peptides were purified by HPLC and fragmented by collision induced dissociation in a tandem ion trap mass spectrometer. Eight proteins were labeled and six were not. Tyrosine was labeled in human alpha-2-glycoprotein 1 zinc-binding protein (Tyr 138, Tyr 174 and Tyr 181), human kinesin 3C motor domain (Tyr 145), human keratin 1 (Tyr 230), bovine actin (Tyr 55 and Tyr 200), murine ATP synthase beta (Tyr 431), murine adenine nucleotide translocase 1 (Tyr 81), bovine chymotrypsinogen (Tyr 201) and porcine pepsin (Tyr 310). Only 1-3 tyrosines per protein were modified, suggesting that the reactive tyrosine was activated by nearby residues that facilitated ionization of the hydroxyl group of tyrosine. These results suggest that OP binding to tyrosine is a general phenomenon. It is concluded that organophosphorus-reactive proteins include not only enzymes in the serine hydrolase family, but also proteins that have no active site serine. The recognition of a new OP-binding motif to tyrosine suggests new directions to search for mechanisms of long-term effects of OP exposure. Another application is in the search for biomarkers of organophosphorus agent exposure. Previous searches have been limited to serine hydrolases. Now proteins such as albumin and keratin can be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)492-498
Number of pages7
JournalChemico-Biological Interactions
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 14 2009


  • FP-biotin
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Non-cholinesterase
  • Organophosphorus agent
  • Tyrosine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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