Posttranslational modification (PTM) of proteins represents an important cellular mechanism for controlling diverse functions such as signalling, localisation or protein–protein interactions. AMPylation (also termed adenylylation) has recently been discovered as a prevalent PTM for regulating protein activity. In human cells AMPylation has been exclusively studied with the FICD protein. Here we investigate the role of AMPylation in human neurogenesis by introducing a cell-permeable propargyl adenosine pronucleotide probe to infiltrate cellular AMPylation pathways and report distinct modifications in intact cancer cell lines, human-derived stem cells, neural progenitor cells (NPCs), neurons and cerebral organoids (COs) via LC–MS/MS as well as imaging methods. A total of 162 AMP modified proteins were identified. FICD-dependent AMPylation remodelling accelerates differentiation of neural progenitor cells into mature neurons in COs, demonstrating a so far unknown trigger of human neurogenesis.
Kielkowski, P.*, Buchsbaum, I.Y.*, Kirsch, V.C., Bach, N.C., Drukker, M, Cappello, S.*, Sieber, S.A.*, "FICD activity and AMPylation remodelling modulate human neurogenesis",
Nat. Commun., 2020