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Scientists Develop Platform for Detecting Protein-Metabolite Interactions

A new mass spectrometry-based technology for studying protein-metabolite interactions (PMI) is presented in Science this week. The interactions between proteins and small-molecule metabolites influence a wide range of cellular processes. However, the identification of PMIs has been sporadic and strategies to discover such interactions are limited. Further, PMIs are frequently low affinity, further complicating their identification. A University of Utah School of Medicine-led team has now developed a platform called MIDAS, short for mass spectrometry integrated with equilibrium dialysis for the discovery of allostery systematically. They use MIDAS to analyze 33 enzymes from human carbohydrate metabolism, uncovering 830 protein-metabolite interactions, including known regulators, substrates, and products as well as previously unreported interactions. "MIDAS serves as a conduit to identify, understand, and exploit previously unknown modes of metabolic regulation across the protein-metabolite interactome," the researchers write.