Synthesis and Evaluation of Ubiquitin-Dioxetane Conjugate as a Chemiluminescent Probe for Monitoring Deubiquitinase Activity

Sara Gutkin, Satish Gandhesiri, Ashraf Brik, Doron Shabat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The removal of ubiquitin (Ub) from a modified protein or Ub chain is a process that occurs regularly by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. This process is known to be mediated by various deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) in order to control the protein's half-life and its expression levels among many other signaling processes. Since the function of DUBs is also involved in numerous human diseases, such as cancer, there is an obvious need for an effective diagnostic probe that can monitor the activity of these enzymes. We have developed the first chemiluminescence probe for detection of DUBs activity. The probe was prepared by conjugation of the chemically synthesized C-terminally activated Ub(1-75) with a Gly-enolether precursor. Subsequent oxidation, under aqueous conditions, of the enolether conjuagate with singlet-oxygen furnished the dioxetane probe Ub-CL. This synthesis provides the first example of a dioxetane-luminophore protein conjugate. The probe's ability to detect deubiquitinating activity was successfully validated with three different DUBs. In order to demonstrate the advantage of our new probe, comparison measurements for detection of DUB UCH-L3 activity were performed between the chemiluminescent probe Ub-CL and the well-known Ub-AMC probe. The obtained data showed significantly higher S/N, for probe Ub-CL (>93-fold) in comparison to that observed for Ub-AMC (1.5-fold). We anticipate that the successful design and synthesis of the turn-ON protein-dioxetane conjugate probe, demonstrated in this work, will provide the insight and motivation for preparation of other relevant protein-dioxetane conjugates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2141-2147
Number of pages7
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 20 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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