Mutations of the PC2 substrate binding pocket alter enzyme specificity
ABSTRACT By taking advantage of the recently published furin structure, whose catalytic domain shares high homology with other proprotein convertases, we designed mutations in the catalytic domain of PC2, altering residues Ser206, Thr271, Asp278, ArgGlu282, AlaSer323, Leu341, Asn365, and Ser380, which are both conserved and specific to this convertase, and substituting residues specific to PC1 and/or furin. In order to investigate the determinants of PC2 specificity, we have tested the mutated enzymes against a set of proenkephalin-derived substrates, as well as substrates representing Arg, Ala, Leu, Phe, and Glu positional scanning variants of a peptide B-derived substrate. We found that the exchange of the Ser206 residue with Arg or Lys led to a total loss of activity. Increased positive charge of the substrate generally resulted in an increased specificity constant. Most intriguingly, the RE281GR mutation, corresponding to a residue placed distantly in the S6 pocket, evoked the largest changes in the specificity pattern. The D278E and N356S mutations resulted in distinct alterations in PC2 substrate preferences. However, when other residues that distinguish PC2 from other convertases were substituted with PC1-like or furin-like equivalents, there was no significant alteration of the PC2 specificity pattern, suggesting that the overall structure of the substrate binding cleft rather than individual residues specifies substrate binding.
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ABSTRACT: Prohormone convertase 2 (PC2) functions in the generation of neuropeptides from their precursors. A quantitative peptidomics approach was used to evaluate the role of PC2 in the processing of peptides in a variety of brain regions. Altogether, 115 neuropeptides or other peptides derived from secretory pathway proteins were identified. These peptides arise from 28 distinct secretory pathway proteins, including proenkephalin, proopiomelanocortin, prodynorphin, protachykinin A and B, procholecystokinin, and many others. Forty one of the peptides found in wild-type (WT) mice were not detectable in any of the brain regions of PC2 knockout mice, and another 24 peptides were present at levels ranging from 20% to 79% of WT levels. Most of the other peptides were not substantially affected by the mutation, with levels ranging from 80% to 120% of WT levels, and only three peptides were found to increase in one or more brain regions of PC2 knockout mice. Taken together, these results are consistent with a broad role for PC2 in neuropeptide processing, but with functional redundancy for many of the cleavages. Comparison of the cleavage sites affected by the absence of PC2 confirms previous suggestions that sequences with a Trp, Tyr, and/or Pro in the P1' or P2' position are preferentially cleaved by PC2 and not by other enzymes present in the secretory pathway.Journal of Neurochemistry 12/2009; 112(5):1168-79. DOI:10.1111/j.1471-4159.2009.06530.x · 4.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Protein-protein interactions play a central role within numerous processes in the cell. The relevance of the processes in which this type of interactions are implicated make them responsible for many pathological situations. In the last decade protein-protein interfaces have shown their potential as new drug targets, and combinatorial chemistry has been defined as a useful tool in this line. This review gives a global vision of the actual situation of combinatorial chemistry, highlighting its applicability to high-throughput drug discovery and giving some crucial examples of its contribution to find modulators of protein-protein interactions.Current topics in medicinal chemistry 02/2007; 7(1):83-95. DOI:10.2174/156802607779318307 · 3.45 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: All life depends on the biological information encoded in DNA with which to synthesize and regulate various peptide sequences required by an organism's cells. Hence, an evolutionary model accounting for the diversity of life needs to demonstrate how novel exonic regions that code for distinctly different functions can emerge. Natural selection tends to conserve the basic functionality, sequence, and size of genes and, although beneficial and adaptive changes are possible, these serve only to improve or adjust the existing type. However, gene duplication allows for a respite in selection and so can provide a molecular substrate for the development of biochemical innovation. Reference is made here to several well-known examples of gene duplication, and the major means of resulting evolutionary divergence, to examine the plausibility of this assumption. The totality of the evidence reveals that, although duplication can and does facilitate important adaptations by tinkering with existing compounds, molecular evolution is nonetheless constrained in each and every case. Therefore, although the process of gene duplication and subsequent random mutation has certainly contributed to the size and diversity of the genome, it is alone insufficient in explaining the origination of the highly complex information pertinent to the essential functioning of living organisms.Complexity 07/2011; 16(6):17-31. DOI:10.1002/cplx.20365 · 1.03 Impact Factor