Rapid identification of ubiquitination and SUMOylation target sites by microfluidic peptide array

Bing Zhu, Tierra R. Farris, Sarah L. Milligan, Haosi Chen, Ruijuan Zhu, Aailing Hong, Xiaochuan Zhou, Xiaolian Gao, Jere W. McBride

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


SUMOylation and ubiquitination are two essential post translational modifications (PTMs) involved in the regulation of important biological processes in eukaryotic cells. Identification of ubiquitin (Ub) and small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO)-conjugated lysine residues in proteins is critical for understanding the role of ubiquitination and SUMOylation, but remains experimentally challenging. We have developed a powerful in vitro Ub/SUMO assay using a novel high density peptide array incorporated within a microfluidic device that allows rapid identification of ubiquitination and SUMOylation sites on target proteins. We performed the assay with a panel of human proteins and a microbial effector with known target sites for Ub or SUMO modifications, and determined that 80% of these proteins were modified by Ub or specific SUMO isoforms at the sites previously determined using conventional methods. Our results confirm the specificity for both SUMO isoform and individual target proteins at the peptide level. In summary, this microfluidic high density peptide array approach is a rapid screening assay to determine sites of Ub and SUMO modification of target substrates, which will provide new insights into the composition, selectivity and specificity of these PTM target sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-438
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemistry and Biophysics Reports
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Effector
  • Ehrlichia
  • High density peptide array
  • SUMO
  • Ubiquitin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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