In a new article in J. Chem. Biol., a team of researchers led by Northwestern Proteomics graduate student Luis Schachner show that measuring proteoforms – the specific molecular forms of proteins including post-translational modifications – can shed new light on well-studied systems and unlock avenues to supercharge them. Triosephosphate isomerase (TPI) is a highly studied and important enzyme in cellular metabolism and is considered a ‘perfect enzyme’ due to its high efficiency. In this study, the activity of TPI was increased more than 4x after the team detected a previously uncharacterized activating modification and enriched for the activated form of TPI in a synthetic system. This work demonstrates that focusing on activated proteoforms can unlock increased performance for synthetic biology and biotechnology.

Article link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acschembio.2c00324