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: Proprotein convertases (PCs) form a group of serine endoproteases that are essential for the activation of proproteins into their active form. Some PCs have been proposed to be potential therapeutic targets for cancer intervention because elevated PC activity has been observed in many different cancer types and because many of the PC substrates, such as pro-IGF-1R, pro-TGF-beta, pro-VEGF, are involved in signaling pathways related to tumor development. Curcumin, reported to possess anticancer activity, also affects many of these pathways. We therefore investigated the effect of curcumin on PC activity. Our results show that curcumin inhibits PC activity in a cell lysate-based assay but not in vitro. PC zymogen maturation in the endoplasmic reticulum also appears to be inhibited by curcumin. Treating cells with thapsigargin or cyclopiazonic acid, two structurally unrelated inhibitors of the sarco- and endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)ATPase (SERCA), also hampered both the PC zymogen maturation and the PC activity. Importantly, curcumin, like the SERCA inhibitors, impaired ATP-driven (45)Ca(2+) uptake in the endoplasmic reticulum. These results indicate that curcumin likely restrains PC activity by inhibiting SERCA-mediated Ca(2+)-uptake activity. Experiments in three colon cancer cell lines confirm that curcumin inhibits both the (45)Ca(2+) uptake and PC activity, notably the processing of pro-IGF-1R. Both curcumin and thapsigargin inhibit the anchorage-independent growth of these three colon carcinoma cell lines. In conclusion, our findings indicate that curcumin inhibits PC zymogen maturation and consequently PC activity and that its inhibitory effect on Ca(2+) uptake into the ER allows and is sufficient to explain this phenomenon.Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 04/2013; 1833(8). DOI:10.1016/j.bbamcr.2013.04.002 · 4.66 Impact Factor
01/2012; 1(1):1-112. DOI:10.4199/C00050ED1V01Y201112NPE001
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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