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The behavior of an array of fluorescent human alpha-thrombin derivatives in reporting binding of the fragment 2 domain of prothrombin was characterized as a representative application of the active-site-selective labeling approach to studies of blood coagulation proteinase regulatory interactions. An array of 16 thrombin derivatives was prepared by affinity labeling of the proteinase active site with the thioester peptide chloromethyl ketones, N alpha-[(acetylthio)acetyl]-D-Phe-Pro-Arg-CH2Cl or N alpha-[(acetylthio)acetyl]-D-Phe-Phe-Arg-CH2Cl, followed by selective modification of the NH2OH-generated thiol group on the covalently incorporated inhibitors with each of eight thiol-reactive fluorescence probes. The changes in probe fluorescence intensity of the derivatives, signaling changes in the environment of the catalytic site associated with fragment 2 binding, appeared to be a unique and unpredictable function of the structure of the probe and the connecting peptide. These results demonstrated the utility of the labeling approach for overcoming the problem of not being able to predict which fluorescent label will provide the most useful proteinase derivative for investigating an interaction by enabling a greater variety of them to be prepared and screened for those with the most desirable properties. To determine whether the approach could be extended to other proteinases, the specificity of labeling with the fluorescence probe iodoacetamide, 5-(iodoacetamido)fluorescein, by use of the two thioester inhibitors was evaluated for several other blood coagulation proteinases and related trypsin-like enzymes. All of the proteinases were labeled in an active-site-selective manner. The combined results of quantitating the labeling reactions for the proteinase and inhibitor combinations studied thus far showed active-site-specific incorporation of 0.98 +/- 0.10 mol of inhibitor/mol of active sites and 0.92 +/- 0.11 mol of probe/mol of active sites, representing an overall greater than or equal to 93% site-specificity of labeling. These results demonstrated the broad applicability of the labeling approach for fluorescence studies of proteinases that differ greatly in their catalytic specificities.
In a new strategy for labeling the active sites of serine proteinases with fluorescence probes (Bock, P. E. (1988) Biochemistry 27, 6633-6639), a thioester peptide chloromethyl ketone inhibitor is incorporated into the enzyme active center and used to produce a unique thiol group which provides a site for selective chemical modification with any one of many thiol-reactive fluorescence probes. This approach was developed to increase the opportunities for identifying fluorescent proteinase derivatives that act as reporters of binding interactions by allowing a large number of derivatives, representing a broad range of probe spectral properties, to be readily prepared. In the studies described here, the specificity of the labeling approach was evaluated quantitatively for the labeling of human alpha and beta/gamma-thrombin with the thioester peptide chloromethyl ketones, N alpha-[(acetylthio)acetyl]-D-Phe-Pro-Arg-CH2Cl and N alpha-[(acetylthio)acetyl]-D-Phe-Phe-Arg-CH2Cl, and the thiol-reactive fluorescence probe, 5-(iodoacetamido)fluorescein. Irreversible inactivation of thrombin by the inhibitors was accompanied by incorporation of 0.98 +/- 0.06 mol/mol of the thioester group into the active site, independent of a 470-fold difference between the thioester peptide chloromethyl ketones in the bimolecular rate constants of alpha-thrombin affinity labeling. Subsequent mild treatment of the covalent thrombin-inhibitor complexes with NH2OH in the presence of 5-(iodoacetamido)fluorescein resulted in generation of the thiol group together with its selective modification and incorporation of 0.96 +/- 0.07 mol of probe/mol of active sites. The incorporated label was localized to a 9000 molecular weight region of alpha and beta/gamma-thrombin containing the catalytic-site histidine residue. Evaluation of competing, side reactions showed that they did not significantly compromise the active site specificity of labeling. These results demonstrated equivalent, active-site-selective fluorescence probe labeling of alpha and beta/gamma-thrombin by use of either of the thioester peptide chloromethyl ketones, with a site specificity of greater than or equal to 94%.
Rat and human lung microsomal cytochrome P-450 (P-450) enzymes have been characterized with regard to their catalytic activities towards several xenobiotic chemicals, including procarcinogens, in different microsomal preparations. Rat lung microsomal P-450s were more active than the human P-450s in catalyzing most of the monooxygenation reactions. Human lung microsomal P-450 was solubilized and purified. Human lung microsomes contain approximately 10 pmol of P-450/mg of protein, on the basis of Fe2+.CO versus Fe2+ difference spectra of the eluates obtained from an octylamino-agarose column. The partially purified P-450 preparations from two human lung microsomal samples showed high activities for the conversion of both (+)- and (-)-isomers of 7,8-dihydroxy-7,8-dihydrobenzo(a)pyrene to genotoxic products. After DEAE-cellulose column chromatography, a partially purified P-450 fraction containing polypeptides of Mr 52,000 and 58,000 was obtained from the early fraction of the octylamino-agarose column eluate, and an electrophoretically homogeneous protein having a molecular weight of approximately 52,000 was recovered from a latter fraction. The amino-terminal amino acid sequences of the two peptides in the earlier fraction were determined; neither polypeptide appears to resemble any known P-450 protein. The protein from the latter octylamino-agarose fraction was immunoreactive with anti-rat P-450 1A2 and anti-human P-450 1A2 but not with antibodies raised against other P-450 enzymes or autoimmune antibodies that specifically recognize human P-450 1A2. A tryptic peptide was isolated from the preparation, and the amino acid sequence matched that of human P-450 1A1 perfectly (residues 31-48) but not that of human P-450 1A2. All of nine human lung microsomal samples examined contained proteins that were immunoreactive with rabbit anti-rat P-450 1A2 and catalyzed the activation of 7,8-dihydroxy-7,8-dihydrobenzo(a)pyrene. The activities could be inhibited by rabbit anti-rat P-450 1A2 and, to a lesser extent, by anti-rat P-450 1A1. The addition of 7,8-benzoflavone caused inhibition or stimulation, depending upon the particular human lung microsomal preparation. Thus, this work clearly shows that human lung microsomes contain at least two major P-450 enzymes; human P-450 1A1 is present in lungs and can actually catalyze the activation of environmental procarcinogens, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Cytochrome P-450 (P-450) enzymes have been studied extensively in experimental animal models and much is known regarding their structures, regulation, and mechanisms of catalysis. In recent years investigations have been extended to the human P-450s. There are more than 30 different characterized human P-450s in the superfamily, and collectively they are probably the most significant enzymes involved in the metabolism of drugs, carcinogens, and steroids. The levels of many of the P-450s and their catalytic activities can vary considerably because of polymorphism, induction, and inhibition. The catalytic specificity of the P-450s can range from being very non-discriminatory to very exacting, and clinical consequences of drugs and steroids can be related to variations in P-450 levels. Defects in the rate-limiting P-450 reactions in steroidogenesis (due to genetic deficiencies) have been shown to be debilitating and even fatal.
Microsomal forms of eukaryotic cytochrome P450 proteins are integral membrane proteins of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane which are targeted to the ER via the signal recognition particle pathway. A hydrophobic amino terminus serves as a combined signal sequence and major membrane anchor (signal-anchor sequence) for the microsomal P450s. We have examined the insertion of bovine 17 alpha-hydroxylase (P45017 alpha) into the ER of COS 1 cells in order to evaluate the role of membrane insertion of the amino-terminal signal-anchor of microsomal P450s as a functional determinant for these enzymes. Previously, we have shown that deletion of the hydrophobic amino terminus from P45017 alpha reduced membrane targeting and insertion by 5-fold compared with the wild-type protein, abolished enzymatic activity, and resulted in an aberrant CO difference spectrum. In the present study we have replaced the amino terminus of P45017 alpha with two heterologous signal-anchor sequences, one that is similar and one that is very different from the P45017 alpha sequence. The chimeric proteins were expressed in COS 1 cells. Immunoblot analysis of isolated microsomal membranes show that the heterologous signal-anchor sequences functioned to target the P45017 alpha protein to the ER. Enzymatic assays in intact COS 1 cells indicate that both the chimeric proteins are efficient 17 alpha-hydroxylase enzymes. The amino terminus of P45017 alpha was also replaced with a sequence that is not a signal-anchor, and the expressed protein was neither targeted to the ER nor was functional in COS 1 cells. In conclusion, both the structure and catalytic activity of P45017 alpha in COS 1 cells is dependent upon an amino-terminal sequence that functions as a signal-anchor sequence and not upon the precise sequence of the amino terminus.
Kinetic studies on the cyclization of 2,3(S)-oxido and 2,3(S):22(S),23-dioxido[14C]squalene catalyzed by liver oxidosqualene-lanosterol cyclase revealed a specificity (in terms of V/Km) of the enzyme for the diepoxide. The specificity ratio was dependent on the enzyme preparation, i.e. purified or microsomal, and was highest (about 5) with the microsomal enzyme in the presence of supernatant protein factors. These results explain why, in the presence of cyclase inhibitors, the squalene epoxides can be channeled into a cholesterol biosynthesis regulatory pathway via 24(S),25-epoxylanosterol and 24(S),25-epoxycholesterol.
Protein kinase C (PKC) is thought to play an important role in neuronal function by mediating changes in synaptic strength. Specifically, it has been argued that persistent PKC activation underlies the maintenance of long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission in the hippocampus, a model widely used to study mammalian learning and memory. Because the induction of LTP is known to be dependent upon Ca2+ influx into the postsynaptic neuron, we investigated Ca(2+)-dependent mechanisms that operate to elicit persistent PKC activation in the hippocampus. Hippocampal homogenates were incubated with Ca2+ for a brief period and subsequently assayed for persistent changes in basal (Ca(2+)-independent) PKC activity, using the selective PKC substrate neurogranin(28-43) (NG(28-43)). After Ca2+ incubation, basal PKC phosphorylation of NG(28-43) was increased and expression of the increased activity could be inhibited by PKC(19-36), a selective peptide inhibitor of PKC. These data indicate the presence of a persistently activated form of PKC in Ca(2+)-pretreated hippocampal homogenates. The persistently activated PKC was localized to the soluble fraction of homogenates. Generation of the soluble, persistently activated form of PKC was blocked by the calpain inhibitor, leupeptin, suggesting a proteolytic activation of PKC. Column chromatography and Western blots indicated the presence of PKM, a proteolytic fragment of PKC that is active in the absence of calcium, diacylglycerols, or phospholipid cofactors. Thus, Ca2+ induces proteolytic activation of PKC in hippocampal homogenates. This suggests that proteolytic activation is a plausible candidate as a mechanism underlying the persistent activation of PKC associated with LTP.
A novel protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) substrate, p120, has been previously implicated in ligand-induced signaling through the epidermal growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor and colony-stimulating factor 1 receptors, and in cell transformation by p60v-src. We have isolated a near full-length cDNA encoding murine p120. The encoded protein lacks significant homology with any reported protein, but it contains four copies of an imperfect 42 amino acid repeat that occurs 12.5 times in the protein encoded by Drosophila armadillo (arm), and its direct homologs, human plakoglobin (plak) and Xenopus laevis beta-catenin (beta-cat). The presence of this motif implies that p120 may share at least one aspect of its function with the arm protein and its homologs.
Drosophila melanogaster topoisomerase II is capable of joining phi X174 (+) strand DNA that it has cleaved to duplex oligonucleotide acceptor molecules by an intermolecular ligation reaction (Gale, K. C. and Osheroff, N. (1990) Biochemistry 29, 9538-9545). In order to investigate potential mechanisms for topoisomerase II-mediated DNA recombination, this intrinsic enzyme activity was further characterized. Intermolecular DNA ligation proceeded in a time-dependent fashion and was concentration-dependent with respect to oligonucleotide. The covalent linkage between phi X174 (+) strand DNA and acceptor molecules was confirmed by Southern analysis and alkaline gel electrophoresis. Topoisomerase II-mediated intermolecular DNA ligation required the oligonucleotide to contain a 3'-OH terminus. Moreover, the reaction was dependent on the presence of a divalent cation, was inhibited by salt, and was not affected by the presence of ATP. The enzyme was capable of ligating phi X174 (+) strand DNA to double-stranded oligonucleotides that contained 5'-overhang, 3'-overhand, or blunt ends. Single-stranded, nicked, or gapped oligonucleotides also could be used as acceptor molecules. These results demonstrate that the type II enzyme has an intrinsic ability to mediate illegitimate DNA recombination in vitro and suggests possible roles for topoisomerase II in nucleic acid recombination in vivo.
Eukaryotic topoisomerase II is capable of binding two separate nucleic acid helices prior to its DNA cleavage and strand passage events (Zechiedrich, E. L., and Osheroff, N (1990) EMBO J. 9, 4555-4562). Presumably, one of these helices represents the helix that the enzyme cleaves (i.e. cleavage helix), and the other represents the helix that it passes (i.e. passage helix) through the break in the nucleic acid backbone. To determine whether the passage helix is required for reaction steps that precede the enzyme's DNA strand passage event, interactions between Drosophila melanogaster topoisomerase II and a short double-stranded oligonucleotide were assessed. These studies employed a 40-mer that contained a specific recognition/cleavage site for the enzyme. The sigmoidal DNA concentration dependence that was observed for cleavage of the 40-mer indicated that topoisomerase II had to interact with more than a single oligonucleotide in order for cleavage to take place. Despite this requirement, results of enzyme DNA binding experiments indicated no binding cooperativity for the 40-mer. These findings strongly suggest a two-site model for topoisomerase II action in which the passage and the cleavage helices bind to the enzyme independently, but the passage helix must be present for efficient topoisomerase II-mediated DNA cleavage to occur.