Identifying the Binding Proteins of Small Ligands with the Differential Radial Capillary Action of Ligand Assay (DRaCALA)

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The past decade has seen tremendous progress in the understanding of small signaling molecules in bacterial physiology. In particular, the target proteins of several nucleotide-derived secondary messengers (NSMs) have been systematically identified and studied in model organisms. These achievements are mainly due to the development of several new techniques including the capture compound technique and the differential radial capillary action of ligand assay (DRaCALA), which were used to systematically identify target proteins of these small molecules. This paper describes the use of the NSMs, guanosine penta-and tetraphosphates (p)ppGpp, as an example and video demonstration of the DRaCALA technique. Using DRaCALA, 9 out of 20 known and 12 new target proteins of (p)ppGpp were identified in the model organism, Escherichia coli K-12, demonstrating the power of this assay. In principle, DRaCALA could be used for studying small ligands that can be labeled by radioactive isotopes or fluorescent dyes. The critical steps, pros, and cons of DRaCALA are discussed here for further application of this technique.

TidsskriftJournal of visualized experiments : JoVE
StatusUdgivet - 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
The work is supported by an NNF Project Grant (NNF19OC0058331) to YEZ, and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement (Nº 801199) to MLS.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 JoVE Journal of Visualized Experiments.

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