Assessment of Protein Carbonylation and Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase (PTP) Oxidation in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells (VSMCs) Using Immunoblotting Approaches

  • Sofia Tsiropoulou
  • Rhian M. TouyzEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1614)


Post-translational modification of proteins, such as phosphorylation and oxidation, plays a major role in cellular signaling by influencing protein structure and function. In vascular cells, in addition to influencing phosphorylation, angiotensin II (Ang II) induces oxidation of proteins, important in redox signaling in the cardiovascular and renal systems. The present chapter describes immunoblotting approaches to assess irreversible protein carbonylation and protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTPs) oxidation status in the proteome of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC).

Protein carbonylation is generally measured using the OxyBlot™ approach, whereby derivatization of protein carbonyl groups (C = O) on oxidized amino acids by dinitrophenylhydrazine (DNPH) results in the formation of a stable dinitrophenyl (DNP) hydrazone product. The samples are analyzed by SDS-PAGE and a primary antibody raised against the DNP moiety is used to determine levels of irreversible protein carbonylation in the sample by immunoblotting.

Oxidation of PTPs can be evaluated using a monoclonal antibody against the “hyperoxidized” (SO3H) catalytic site of these enzymes. The described methodology offers the ability to discriminate between irreversible (SO3H) and reversible (SOH) PTP oxidation states. Initially, the free unmodified PTP-thiols (S) are alkylated and the sample is split into two. One part is used to assess the PTP-SO3H form. In the other part reversibly modified PTP-thiols are first reduced and then hyperoxidized by pervanadate (PV). Both untreated and PV-treated samples are analyzed by SDS-PAGE and “hyperoxidized” PTPs are detected by immunoblotting. The proportion of reversibly oxidized PTP-SOH fraction is determined by the difference between the signals in untreated and the PV-treated samples.

The above immunoassays provide general approaches to detect and quantify global levels of irreversible protein oxidation and of irreversibly/reversibly oxidized PTPs in any (patho)physiological context. Characterization of the global redox status is essential to better understand the redox-sensitive mechanisms underlying chronic diseases associated with oxidative stress. This is particularly important in systems influenced by the renin angiotensin system, because Ang II is a potent inducer of oxidative stress and redox signaling.

Key words

Protein oxidation Carbonylation Oxyblot PTP oxidation Cysteine thiol Irreversible modifications Reversible modifications 


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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, BHF Glasgow Cardiovascular Research CentreUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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