ABSTRACT: Collagen prolyl 4-hydroxylases (C-P4Hs) have a critical role in collagen synthesis, since 4-hydroxyproline residues are necessary for folding of the triple-helical molecules. Vertebrate C-P4Hs are alpha(2)beta(2) tetramers in which the beta subunit is identical to protein-disulfide isomerase (PDI). Three isoforms of the catalytic alpha subunit, PHY-1, PHY-2, and PHY-3, have been characterized from Caenorhabditis elegans, PHY-1 and PHY-2 being responsible for the hydroxylation of cuticle collagens, whereas PHY-3 is predicted to be involved in collagen synthesis in early embryos. We have characterized transcripts of two additional C. elegans alpha subunit-like genes, Y43F8B.4 and C14E2.4. Three transcripts were generated from Y43F8B.4, and a polypeptide encoded by one of them, named PHY-4.1, assembled into active (PHY-4.1)(2)/(PDI-2)(2) tetramers and PHY-4.1/PDI-2 dimers when coexpressed with C. elegans PDI-2 in insect cells. The C14E2.4 transcript was found to have a frameshift leading to the absence of codons for two residues critical for P4H catalytic activity. Thus, C. elegans has altogether four functional C-P4H alpha subunits, PHY-1, PHY-2, PHY-3, and PHY-4.1. The tetramers and dimers containing recombinant PHY-4.1 had a distinct substrate specificity from the other C-P4Hs in that they hydroxylated poly(l-proline) and certain other proline-rich peptides, including ones that are expressed in the pharynx, in addition to collagen-like peptides. These data and the observed restricted expression of the phy-4.1 transcript and PHY-4.1 polypeptide in the pharyngeal gland cells and the excretory duct suggest that in addition to collagens, PHY-4.1 may hydroxylate additional proline-rich proteins in vivo.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2008; 283(16):10679-89. · 4.77 Impact Factor