Antibody-based detection of protein phosphorylation status to track the efficacy of novel therapies using nanogram protein quantities from stem cells and cell lines

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Aspinall-O'Dea, Mark ; Pierce, Andrew ; Pellicano, Francesca ; Williamson, Andrew J. ; Scott, Mary T. ; Walker, Michael J. ; Holyoake, Tessa L. ; Whetton, Anthony D. (2015)

This protocol describes a highly reproducible antibody-based method that provides protein level and phosphorylation status information from nanogram quantities of protein cell lysate. Nanocapillary isoelectric focusing (cIEF) combines with UV-activated linking chemistry to detect changes in phosphorylation status. As an example application, we describe how to detect changes in response to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in the phosphorylation status of the adaptor protein ​CrkL, a major substrate of the oncogenic tyrosine kinase ​BCR-​ABL in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), using highly enriched CML stem cells and mature cell populations in vitro. This protocol provides a 2.5 pg/nl limit of protein detection (<0.2% of a stem cell sample containing <104 cells). Additional assays are described for phosphorylated tyrosine 207 (pTyr207)-​CrkL and the protein tyrosine phosphatase ​PTPRC/​CD45; these assays were developed using this protocol and applied to CML patient samples. This method is of high throughput, and it can act as a screen for in vitro cancer stem cell response to drugs and novel agents.
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