Evaluation of prenylated peptides for use in cellular imaging and biochemical analysis

Joshua D. Ochocki, Urule Igbavboa, W. Gibson Wood, Edgar A. Arriaga, Elizabeth V. Wattenberg, Mark D. Distefano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Protein prenylation involves the addition of a farnesyl (C15) or geranylgeranyl (C20) isoprenoid moiety onto the C-terminus of approximately 2 % of all mammalian proteins. This hydrophobic modification serves to direct membrane association of the protein. Due to the finding that the oncogenic protein Ras is naturally prenylated, several researchers have developed inhibitors of the prenyltransferase enzymes as cancer therapeutics. Despite numerous studies on the enzymology of prenylation in vitro, many questions remain about the process of prenylation in living cells. Using a combination of flow cytometry and confocal microscopy, we have shown that synthetic fluorescently labeled prenylated peptides enter a variety of different cell types. Additionally, using capillary electrophoresis we have shown that these peptides can be detected in minute quantities from lysates of cells treated with these peptides. This method will allow for further study of the enzymology of protein prenylation in living cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-223
Number of pages11
JournalMethods in Molecular Biology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


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