Szilágyi, L., Kénesi, E., Katona, G., Kaslik, G., Juhász, G. & Gráf, L.

Comparative in vitro studies on native and recombinant human cationic trypsins.

J Biol Chem 276, 24574-80.

Hereditary pancreatitis, an autosomal dominant disease is believed to be caused by mutation in the human trypsinogen gene. The role of mutations has been investigated by in vitro studies using recombinant rat and human trypsinogen (TG). In this study we compare the enzymatic properties and inhibition by human pancreatic secretory trypsin inhibitor (hPSTI) of the native, postsynthetically modified and recombinant cationic trypsin, and found these values practically identical. We also determined the autolytic stability of recombinant wild type (Hu1Asn21) and pancreatitis-associated (Hu1Ile21) trypsin. Both forms were equally stable. Similarly, we found no difference in the rate of activation of the two zymogens by human cationic and anionic trypsin. Mesotrypsin did not activate either form. The rate of autocatalytic activation of Hu1Asn21 TG and Hu1Ile21 TG was also identical at pH 8 both in the presence and absence of Ca2+. At pH 5 Hu1Ile21 TG autoactivated about twice as fast as Hu1Asn21 TG. The presence of physiological amount of hPSTI completely prevented autoactivation of both zymogens at pH 8 and at pH 5 as well. Cathepsin B readily activated both zymogens although Hu1Ile21 TG was activated about 2.5-3 times as fast as Hu1Asn21 TG. The presence of hPSTI did not prevent the activation of zymogens by cathepsin B. Our results underlie the central role of cathepsin B in the development of different forms of pancreatitis.

Svingor, A., Kardos, J., Hajdú, I., Németh, A. & Závodszky, P.

A better enzyme to cope with cold. Comparative flexibility studies on psychrotrophic, mesophilic, and thermophilic IPMDHs.

Biol Chem 276, 28121-5.

3-isopropylmalate dehydrogenase (IPMDH) from the psychrotrophic bacterium Vibrio sp. I5 has been expressed in Escherichia coli and purified. This cold-adapted enzyme is highly homologous with IPMDHs from other organisms, including mesophilic E. coli and thermophilic Thermus thermophilus bacteria. Its molecular properties are similar to these counterparts. Whereas the E. coli and T. thermophilus enzymes are hardly active at room temperature, the Vibrio IPMDH has reasonable activity below room temperature. The thermal stabilities, conformational flexibilities (hydrogen-deuterium exchange), and kinetic parameters of these enzymes were compared. The temperature dependence of the catalytic parameters of the three enzymes show similar but shifted profiles. The Vibrio IPMDH is a much better enzyme at 25 degrees C than its counterparts. With decreasing temperature i.e. with decreasing conformational flexibility, the specific activity reduces, as well; however, in the case of the Vibrio enzyme, the residual activity is still high enough for normal physiological operation of the organism. The cold-adaptation strategy in this case is achieved by creation of an extremely efficient enzyme, which has reduced but still sufficient activity at low temperature.

Reményi, A., Tomilin, A., Pohl, E., Lins, K., Philippsen, A., Reinbold, R., Scholer, H. R. & Wilmanns, M.

Differential dimer activities of the transcription factor Oct-1 by DNA-induced interface swapping.

Mol Cell 8, 569-80.

Two crystal structures of Oct-1 POU domain bound to DNA provide a rationale for differential, conformation-dependent recruitment of transcription cofactors. The POU-homeo and POU-specific subdomains of Oct-1 contain two different nonoverlapping pairs of surface patches that are capable of forming unrelated protein-protein interfaces. Members of the POU factor family contain one or two conserved sequence motifs in the interface that are known to be phosphorylated, as noted for Oct-1 and Pit-1. Modeling of Oct-4 reveals the unique case where the same conserved sequence is located in both interfaces. Our studies provide the basis for two distinct dimeric POU factor arrangements that are dictated by the architecture of each DNA response element. We suggest interface swapping in dimers could be a general mechanism of modulating the activity of transcription factors.

Reményi, A., Pohl, E., Scholer, H. R. & Wilmanns, M.

Crystallization of redox-insensitive Oct1 POU domain with different DNA-response elements.

Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr 57, 1634-8.

The POU domain of the human Oct1 transcription factor has been crystallized with two different POU-dimer-binding DNA elements. Protein-DNA cocrystals suitable for structural analysis could be obtained only with a redox-insensitive version of the POU domain. The recombinant protein expression in a prokaryotic host was adjusted for fast purification. Optimized crystals were obtained by systematically varying the length of the oligonucleotide and by modifying cryofreezing procedures. These steps are generally applicable to the preparation of protein-DNA complexes for structural studies.

Málnási-Csizmadia, A., Pearson, D. S., Kovács, M., Woolley, R. J., Geeves, M. A. & Bagshaw, C. R.

Kineatic resolution of a conformational transition and the ATP hydrolysis step using relaxation methods with a Dictyostelium myosin II mutant containing a single tryptophan residue.

Biochemistry 40, 12727-37.

The fluorescence emission intensity from a conserved tryptophan residue (W501) located in the relay loop (F466 to L516) of the Dicytostelium discoideum myosin II motor domain is sensitive to ATP binding and hydrolysis. The initial binding process is accompanied by a small quench in fluorescence, and this is followed by a large enhancement that appears coincident with the hydrolysis step. Using temperature and pressure jump methods, we show that the enhancement process is kinetically distinct from but coupled to the hydrolysis step. The fluorescence enhancement corresponds to the open-closed transition (k(obs) approximately 1000 s(-1) at 20 degrees C). From the overall steady-state fluorescence signal and the presence or absence of a relaxation transient, we conclude that the ADP state is largely in the open state, while the ADP.AlF(4) state is largely closed. At 20 degrees C the open-closed equilibria for the AMP.PNP and ADP.BeF(x) complexes are close to unity and are readily perturbed by temperature and pressure. In the case of ATP, the equilibrium of this step slightly favors the open state, but coupling to the subsequent hydrolysis step gives rise to a predominantly closed state in the steady state. Pressure jump during steady-state ATP turnover reveals the distinct transients for the rapid open-closed transition and the slower hydrolysis step.

Málnási-Csizmadia, A., Kovács, M., Woolley, R. J., Botchway, S. W. & Bagshaw, C. R.

The dynamics of the relay loop tryptophan residue in the Dictyostelium myosin motor domain and the origin of spectroscopic signals.

J Biol Chem 276, 19483-90.

Steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence measurements were performed on a Dictyostelium discoideum myosin II motor domain construct retaining a single tryptophan residue at position 501, located on the relay loop. Other tryptophan residues were mutated to phenylalanine. The Trp-501 residue showed a large enhancement in fluorescence in the presence of ATP and a small quench in the presence of ADP as a result of perturbing both the ground and excited state processes. Fluorescence lifetime and quantum yield measurements indicated that at least three microstates of Trp-501 were present in all nucleotide states examined, and these could not be assigned to a particular gross conformation of the motor domain. Enhancement in emission intensity was associated with a reduction of the contribution from a statically quenched component and an increase in a component with a 5-ns lifetime, with little change in the contribution from a 1-ns lifetime component. Anisotropy measurements indicated that the Trp-501 side chain was relatively immobile in all nucleotide states, and the fluorescence was effectively depolarized by rotation of the whole motor domain with a correlation time on 50-70 ns. Overall these data suggest that the backbone of the relay loop remains structured throughout the myosin ATPase cycle but that the Trp-501 side chain experiences a different weighting in local environments provided by surrounding residues as the adjacent converter domain rolls around the relay loop.

Lacroix, M., Ebel, C., Kardos, J., Dobó, J., Gál, P., Závodszky, P., Arlaud, G. J. & Thielens, N. M.

Assembly and enzymatic properties of the catalytic domain of human complement protease C1r.

J Biol Chem 276, 36233-40.

The catalytic properties of C1r, the protease that mediates activation of the C1 complex of complement, are mediated by its C-terminal region, comprising two complement control protein (CCP) modules followed by a serine protease (SP) domain. Baculovirus-mediated expression was used to produce fragments containing the SP domain and either 2 CCP modules (CCP1/2-SP) or only the second CCP module (CCP2-SP). In each case, the wild-type species and two mutants stabilized in the proenzyme form by mutations at the cleavage site (R446Q) or at the active site serine residue (S637A), were produced. Both wild-type fragments were recovered as two-chain, activated proteases, whereas all mutants retained a single-chain, proenzyme structure, providing the first experimental evidence that C1r activation is an autolytic process. As shown by sedimentation velocity analysis, all CCP1/2-SP fragments were dimers (5.5-5.6 S), and all CCP2-SP fragments were monomers (3.2-3.4 S). Thus, CCP1 is essential to the assembly of the dimer, but formation of a stable dimer is not a prerequisite for self-activation. Activation of the R446Q mutants could be achieved by extrinsic cleavage by thermolysin, which cleaved the CCP2-SP species more efficiently than the CCP1/2-SP species and yielded enzymes with C1s-cleaving activities similar to their active wild-type counterparts. C1r and its activated fragments all cleaved C1s, with relative efficiencies in the order C1r < CCP1/2-SP < CCP2-SP, indicating that CCP1 is not involved in C1s recognition.

Kardos, J., Gál, P., Szilágyi, L., Thielens, N. M., Szilágyi, K., Lőrincz, Z., Kulcsár, P., Gráf, L., Arlaud, G. J. & Závodszky, P.

The role of the individual domains in the structure and function of the catalytic region of a modular serine protease, C1r.

Immunol 167, 5202-8.

The first enzymatic event in the classical pathway of complement activation is autoactivation of the C1r subcomponent of the C1 complex. Activated C1r then cleaves and activates zymogen C1s. C1r is a multidomain serine protease consisting of N-terminal alpha region interacting with other subcomponents and C-terminal gammaB region mediating proteolytic activity. The gammaB region consists of two complement control protein modules (CCP1, CCP2) and a serine protease domain (SP). To clarify the role of the individual domains in the structural and functional properties of the gammaB region we produced the CCP1-CCP2-SP (gammaB), the CCP2-SP, and the SP fragments in recombinant form in Escherichia coli. We successfully renatured the inclusion body proteins. After renaturation all three fragments were obtained in activated form and showed esterolytic activity on synthetic substrates similar to each other. To study the self-activation process in detail zymogen mutant forms of the three fragments were constructed and expressed. Our major statement is that the ability of autoactivation and C1s cleavage is an inherent property of the SP domain. We observed that the CCP2 module significantly increases proteolytic activity of the SP domain on natural substrate, C1s. Therefore, we propose that CCP2 module provides accessory binding sites. Differential scanning calorimetric measurements demonstrated that CCP2 domain greatly stabilizes the structure of SP domain. Deletion of CCP1 domain from the CCP1-CCP2-SP fragment results in the loss of the dimeric structure. Our experiments also provided evidence that dimerization of C1r is not a prerequisite for autoactivation.

Bódi, A., Kaslik, G., Venekei, I. & Gráf, L.

Structural determinants of the half-life and cleavage site preference in the autolytic inactivation of chymotrypsin.

Eur J Biochem 268, 6238-46.

The molecular mechanism of the autolysis of rat alpha-chymotrypsin B was investigated. In addition to the two already known autolytic sites, Tyr146 and Asn147, a new site formed by Phe114 was identified. The former two sites and the latter one are located in the autolysis and the interdomain loops, respectively. By eliminating these sites by site-directed mutagenesis, their involvement in the autolysis and autolytic inactivation processes was studied. Mutants Phe114-->Ile and Tyr146-->His/Asn147-->Ser, that had the same enzymatic activity and molecular stability as the wild-type enzyme, displayed altered routes of autolytic degradation. The Phe114-->Ile mutant also exhibited a significantly slower autolytic inactivation (its half-life was 27-fold longer in the absence and sixfold longer in the presence of Ca2+ ions) that obeyed a first order kinetics instead of the second order displayed by wild-type chymotrypsin inactivation. The comparison of autolysis and autolytic inactivation data showed that: (a) the preferential cleavage of sites followed the order of Tyr146-Asn147 --> Phe114 --> other sites; (b) the cleavage rates at sites Phe114 and Tyr146-Asn147 were independent from each other; and (c) the hydrolysis of the Phe114-Ser115 bond was the rate determining step in autolytic inactivation. Thus, it is the cleavage of the interdomain loop and not of the autolysis or other loops that determines the half-life of chymotrypsin activity.

Antal, J., Pál, G., Asbóth, B., Buzás, Z., Patthy, A. & Gráf, L.

Specificity assay of serine proteinases by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography analysis of competing oligopeptide substrate library.

Anal Biochem 288, 156-67.

In this paper we present an HPLC method developed for quick activity and specificity analysis of serine proteinases. The method applies a carefully designed peptide library in which the individual components differ only at the potential cleavage site for enzymes. The library has seven members representing seven different cleavage sites and it offers substrates for both trypsin and chymotrypsin-like enzymes. The individual peptide substrates compete for the proteinase during the enzymatic reaction. The reaction is monitored by RP-HPLC separation of the components. We describe the systematic design of the competitive peptide substrate library and the test of the system with eight different serine proteinases. The specificity profiles of the investigated enzymes as determined by the new method were essentially identical to the ones reported in the literature, verifying the ability of the system to characterize substrate specificity. The tests also demonstrated that the system could detect even subtle specificity differences of two isoforms of an enzyme. In addition to recording qualitative specificity profiles, data provided by the system can be analyzed quantitatively, yielding specificity constant values. This method can be a useful tool for quick analysis of uncharacterized gene products as well as new forms of enzymes generated by protein engineering.