Protein Dimerization via Tyr Residues: Highlight of a Slow Process with Co-Existence of Numerous Intermediates and Final Products
Protein dimerization via tyrosine residues is a crucial process in response to an oxidative attack, which has been identified in many ageing-related pathologies. Recently, it has been found that for isolated tyrosine amino acid, dimerization occurs through three types of tyrosine–tyrosine crosslinks and leads to at least four final products. Herein, considering two protected tyrosine residues, tyrosine-containing peptides and finally proteins, we investigate the dimerization behavior of tyrosine when embedded in a peptidic sequence. After azide radical oxidation and by combining UPLC-MS and H/D exchange analyzes, we were able to evidence: (i) the slow kinetics of Michael Addition Dimers (MAD) formation, i.e., more than 48 h; (ii) the co-existence of intermediates and final cyclized dimer products; and (iii) the probable involvement of amide functions to achieve Michael additions even in proteins. This raises the question of the possible in vivo existence of both intermediates and final entities as well as their toxicity and the potential consequences on protein structure and/or function.