Postranslational redox modification of thiol groups can form the molecular basis of antioxidative protection and redox control. We have implemented a shotgun redox proteomic technique to identify the precise cysteines reversibly oxidised in key proteins. The method was applied to Saccharomyces cerevisiae subjected to peroxide treatment. Enrichment by covalent redox affinity chromatography allowed the isolation of a “redox subpeptidome” that was analysed by LC-MS/MS. Unique peptides containing specific reversibly oxidised cysteines were used to identify over 70 proteins in control and treated samples of which 27 were consistently present in all replicates. In most cases, the redox modification negatively affects their function and slows down their metabolic pathways. Integration of the data provides a snapshot consistent with a metabolic defensive strategy, regulating key enzymes by redox modification, redirecting energy toward ribulose-5-phosphate recycling for NADPH production and antioxidative defence.
This generally applicable method has allowed us to discover new redox regulated proteins (DAHP and carbamoylphosphate synthases, Doa1p) and to precisely identify target cysteines in a number of known ones.