Pairwise crosslinking is a powerful technique to characterize interactions between G protein coupled receptors and their ligands in the live cell. In this work, the “thiol trapping” method, which exploits the proximity-enhanced reaction between haloacetamides and cysteine, is examined to identify intermolecular pairs of vicinal positions. By incorporating cysteine into the corticotropin-releasing factor receptor and either α-chloro- or α-bromoacetamide groups into its ligands, it is shown that thiol trapping provides highly reproducible signals and a low background, and represents a valid alternative to classical “disulfide trapping”. The method is advantageous if reducing agents are required during sample analysis. Moreover, it can provide partially distinct spatial constraints, thus giving access to a wider dataset for molecular modeling. Finally, by applying recombinant mini-Gs, GTPγS, and Gαs-depleted HEK293 cells to modulate Gs coupling, it is shown that yields of crosslinking increase in the presence of elevated levels of Gs.
- molecular modeling
- peptide–protein interactions