Thermolysin and mitochondrial processing peptidase: how far structure-functional convergence goes.
ABSTRACT: The structure-functional convergence between two Zn-dependent proteases, namely thermolysin and mitochondrial processing peptidase (MPP), is described. These two families of nonhomologous enzymes show not only functional convergence of several active site residues as in chymotrypsin and subtilisin, but also structural convergence of overall molecular architectures including the beta-sheet arrangement and packing of the surrounding alpha-helices. The major functionally important structural elements are present in both enzymes with different topological connections and often in reverse main-chain orientation, but display similar packing. The structural comparison helps to rationalize sequence "inversion" of the HEXXH thermolysin consensus present as HXXEH in MPP. The described structural convergence may be due to a limited number of alternatives to build a Zn-protease that utilizes hydrogen bonding between a substrate main chain and the enzyme beta-sheet for substrate binding.
Project description:1. Fluorimetric techniques were used to characterize the environment of tryptophan residues in thermolysin and apo-thermolysin. The apo-thermolysin was obtained by dissolving the enzyme in the presence of 10mm-EDTA, which removed the functional Zn(2+) ion and the four Ca(2+) ions/molecule from the enzyme. 2. At 25 degrees C in aqueous solution the fluorescence-emission spectrum of the native holoenzyme, on excitation at 290nm, was essentially characteristic of tryptophan, with an emission maximum at 333nm. The emission maximum of the apoenzyme is red-shifted to 338nm and the relative intensity of fluorescence is decreased by 10%, both effects indicating some unfolding of the protein molecule, with the indole groups being transferred to a more hydrophilic environment. 3. Fluorescence quenching studies using KI, N'-methylnicotinamide hydrochloride and acrylamide indicated a more open structure in the apoenzyme, with the tryptophan residues located in a negatively charged environment. 4. The thermal properties of the apoenzyme, as monitored by fluorescence-emission measurements, are dramatically changed with respect to the native holoenzyme. In fact, whereas the native enzyme is heat-stable up to about 80 degrees C, for the apoenzyme a thermal transition is observed near 48 degrees C. The apoenzyme is also unstable to the action of unfolding agents such as urea and guanidinium chloride, much as for other globular proteins from mesophilic organisms. 5. The functional Zn(2+) ion does not contribute noticeably to the stability of thermolysin. 6. It is concluded that a major role in the structural stability of thermolysin is played by the Ca(2+) ions, which have a bridging function within this disulphide-free protein molecule.
Project description:The function of the putative metalloproteinase encoded by the vaccinia virus G1L gene is unknown. To address this question, we have generated a vaccinia virus strain in which expression of the G1L gene is dependent on the addition of tetracycline (TET) when infection proceeds in a cell line expressing the tetracycline repressor. The vvtetOG1L virus replicated similarly to wild-type Western Reserve (WR) virus in these cells when TET was present but was arrested at a late stage in viral maturation in the absence of TET. This arrest resulted in the accumulation of 98.5% round immature virus particles compared to 6.9% at a similar time point when TET was present. Likewise, the titer of infectious virus progeny decreased by 98.9% +/- 0.97% when the vvtetOG1L virus was propagated in the absence of TET. Mutant virus replication was partially rescued by plasmid-encoded G1L, but not by G1L containing an HXXEH motif mutated to RXXQR. Modeling of G1L revealed a predicted structural similarity to the alpha-subunit of Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitochondrial processing peptidase (alpha-MPP). The HXXEH motif of G1L perfectly overlaps the HXXDR motif of alpha-MPP in this model. These results demonstrate that G1L is essential for virus maturation and suggest that G1L is a metalloproteinase with structural homology to alpha-MPP. However, no obvious effects on the expression and processing of the vaccinia virus major core proteins were observed in the G1L conditional mutant in the absence of TET compared to results for the TET and wild-type WR controls, suggesting that G1L activity is required after this step in viral morphogenesis.
Project description:The lambda-toxin of Clostridium perfringens type B NCIB10691 was purified by ammonium sulfate precipitation, followed by size exclusion, anion-exchange, and hydrophobic interaction chromatography. The purified toxin had an apparent molecular mass of 36 kDa, as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The toxin possessed casein-hydrolyzing activity, which was inhibited specifically by metal chelators, indicating that the toxin is a metalloprotease. The gene encoding the lambda-toxin (lam), which was shown by Southern analysis to be located on a 70-kb plasmid, was cloned into Escherichia coli cells. Nucleotide and N-terminal amino acid sequencing revealed that the lam gene encodes a 553-amino-acid protein, which is processed into a mature form, the molecular mass of which was calculated to be 35,722 Da. The deduced amino acid sequence of the mature enzyme contains an HEXXH motif characteristic of zinc metalloproteases and is homologous to other known enzymes belonging to the thermolysin family. The purified toxin degraded various biologically important substances, such as collagen, fibronectin, fibrinogen, immunoglobulin A, and the complement C3 component. It caused an increase in vascular permeability and hemorrhagic edema on injection into the dorsal skin of mice. These results suggest that the toxin contributes to the pathogenesis of histolytic infection by lambda-toxin-producing C. perfringens.
Project description:Competitive inhibition as a function of pH for the metalloendoprotease thermolysin by derivatives of L-alpha-(2-hydroxyphenyl)benzenepropanoyl-L- tryptophanylglycylglycine exhibits a diagnostic bell shape. Binding is maximal between two pKa values: on the acidic limb the apparent Ki value is regulated by an unchanging enzymic ionization (pKa 5.3) which is also seen in the substrate-hydrolysis kinetics (kcat/Km), whereas the alkaline limb for inhibition varies and depends specifically on the pKa of the phenolic group in the inhibitor. Although it should be the phenolate form of the inhibitor that co-ordinates more efficiently to the active-site Zn2+, the apparent Ki shifts from pH-independent at pH values immediately below the inhibitor's pKa to progressively weaker binding at higher pH. This is explained by an anomalous acidity for the exchangeable solvent molecule that is attached to enzymic Zn2+ in the absence of substrate or inhibitor. Since OH- cannot be displaced from the enzyme as readily as H2O, a compensating pKa of 5.3 possessed by Zn(2+)-bound water rationalizes the binding characteristics, yielding the level pH profile exhibited at intermediate pH values. Recognition of the implicit heightened Lewis acidity of the metal ion in thermolysin leads to a revision of the mechanism of catalysis. The substrate amide bond becomes activated for hydrolysis by carbonyl-group co-ordination to the especially acidic Zn2+ ion (completely displacing the H2O/OH- species otherwise bound). The imidazole group of enzymic residue His-231, also discerned in the pH profile for kcat/Km from its pKa of 8, provides general-base assistance for hydration of the activated scissile linkage in the first committed step of catalysis. Additional evidence from inhibition patterns shows how substrate-binding energy may be employed in this scheme to promote hydrolysis of peptides by thermolysin.
Project description:Numerous studies have suggested a significant role that protein dynamics play in optimizing enzyme catalysis, and changes in conformational sampling offer a window to explore this role. Thermolysin from Bacillus thermoproteolyticus rokko, which is a heat-stable zinc metalloproteinase, serves here as a model system to study changes of protein function and conformational sampling across a temperature range of 16-36?°C. The temperature dependence of kinetics of thermolysin showed a biphasic transition at 26?°C that points to potential conformational and dynamic differences across this temperature. The non-Arrhenius behavior observed resembled results from previous studies of a thermophilic alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme, which also indicated a biphasic transition at ambient temperatures. To explore the non-Arrhenius behavior of thermolysin, room temperature crystallography was applied to characterize structural changes in a temperature range across the biphasic transition temperature. The alternate conformation of side chain fitting to electron density of a group of residues showed a higher variability in the temperature range from 26 to 29?°C, which indicated a change in conformational sampling that correlated with the non-Arrhenius break point.
Project description:The search for new therapies for the treatment of Arterial hypertension is a major concern in the scientific community. Here, we employ a computational biochemistry protocol to evaluate the performance of six compounds (Lig783, Lig1022, Lig1392, Lig2177, Lig3444 and Lig6199) to act as antihypertensive agents. This protocol consists of Docking experiments, efficiency calculations of ligands, molecular dynamics simulations, free energy, pharmacological and toxicological properties predictions (ADME-Tox) of the six ligands against Thermolysin. Our results show that the docked structures had an adequate orientation in the pocket of the Thermolysin enzymes, reproducing the X-ray crystal structure of Inhibitor-Thermolysin complexes in an acceptable way. The most promising candidates to act as antihypertensive agents among the series are Lig2177 and Lig3444. These compounds form the most stable ligand-Thermolysin complexes according to their binding free energy values obtained in the docking experiments as well as MM-GBSA decomposition analysis calculations. They present the lowest values of Ki, indicating that these ligands bind strongly to Thermolysin. Lig2177 was oriented in the pocket of Thermolysin in such a way that both OH of the dihydroxyl-amino groups to establish hydrogen bond interactions with Glu146 and Glu166. In the same way, Lig3444 interacts with Asp150, Glu143 and Tyr157. Additionally, Lig2177 and Lig3444 fulfill all the requirements established by Lipinski Veber and Pfizer 3/75 rules, indicating that these compounds could be safe compounds to be used as antihypertensive agents. We are confident that our computational biochemistry protocol can be used to evaluate and predict the behavior of a broad range of compounds designed in silicoagainst a protein target.
Project description:The three-dimensional structures of the zinc endopeptidases human neutrophil collagenase, adamalysin II from rattle snake venom, alkaline proteinase from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and astacin from crayfish are topologically similar, with respect to a five-stranded beta-sheet and three alpha-helices arranged in typical sequential order. The four proteins exhibit the characteristic consensus motif HEXXHXXGXXH, whose three histidine residues are involved in binding of the catalytically essential zinc ion. Moreover, they all share a conserved methionine residue beneath the active site metal as part of a superimposable "Met-turn." This structural relationship is supported by a sequence alignment performed on the basis of topological equivalence showing faint but distinct sequential similarity. The alkaline proteinase is about equally distant (26% sequence identity) to both human neutrophil collagenase and astacin and a little further away from adamalysin II (17% identity). The pairs astacin/adamalysin II, astacin/human neutrophil collagenase, and adamalysin II/human neutrophil collagenase exhibit sequence identities of 16%, 14%, and 13%, respectively. Therefore, the corresponding four distinct families of zinc peptidases, the astacins, the matrix metalloproteinases (matrixins, collagenases), the adamalysins/reprolysins (snake venom proteinases/reproductive tract proteins), and the serralysins (large bacterial proteases from Serratia, Erwinia, and Pseudomonas) appear to have originated by divergent evolution from a common ancestor and form a superfamily of proteolytic enzymes for which the designation "metzincins" has been proposed. There is also a faint but significant structural relationship of the metzincins to the thermolysin-like enzymes, which share the truncated zinc-binding motif HEXXH and, moreover, similar topologies in their N-terminal domains.
Project description:The thermolysin variant G8C/N60C/S65P in which the triple mutation in the N-terminal domain, Gly8?Cys/Asn60?Cys/Ser65?Pro, is undertaken increases stability [Yasukawa, K. and Inouye, K. (2007) Improving the activity and stability of thermolysin by site-directed mutagenesis. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1774, 1281-1288] and its mechanism is examined in this study. The apparent denaturing temperatures based on ellipticity at 222 nm of the wild-type thermolysin (WT), G8C/N60C, S65P and G8C/N60C/S65P were 85, >95, 88 and >95°C, respectively. The first-order rate constants, k(obs), of the thermal inactivation of WT and variants at 10 mM CaCl? increased with increasing thermal treatment temperatures (70-95°C), and those at 80°C decreased with increasing CaCl? concentrations (1-100 mM). The k(obs) values were in the order of WT > S65P > G8C/N60C?G8C/N60C/S65P at all temperatures and CaCl? concentrations. These results indicate that the mutational combination, Gly8?Cys/Asn60?Cys and Ser65?Pro, increases stability only as high as Gly8?Cys/Asn60?Cys does. Assuming that irreversible inactivation of thermolysin occurs only in the absence of calcium ions, the dissociation constants, K(d), to the calcium ions of WT, G8C/N60C, S65P and G8C/N60C/S65P were 47, 8.9, 17 and 7.2 mM, respectively, suggesting that Gly8?Cys/Asn60?Cys and Ser65?Pro stabilize thermolysin by improving its affinity to calcium ions, most probably the one at the Ca²?-binding site III in the N-terminal domain.
Project description:We report the isolation, cloning and expression, in Bacillus subtilis, of the gene coding for thermolysin, a thermostable metalloprotease which is produced by Bacillus thermoproteolyticus Rokko. The nucleotide sequence has revealed that, like neutral proteases produced by other members of the Bacillus species, thermolysin is probably produced as a preproenzyme carrying a typical N-terminal membrane signal sequence. Further, the thermolysin gene shares a strong homology with two other previously cloned genes from two different strains of Bacillus stearothermophilus. The sequence of the mature secreted protease, inferred from the DNA sequence, is, with two exceptions, identical with the previously published protein sequence of thermolysin [Titani, Hermodson, Ericsson, Walsh and Neurath (1972) Nature (London) 238, 35-37]. The exceptions are Asn37 and Gln119, originally reported to be Asp and Glu respectively. The biochemical characterization of the secreted recombinant protein shows that it is indistinguishable from the wild-type thermolysin.
Project description:Protease mediated peptide synthesis (PMPS) was first described in the 1930s but remains underexploited today. In most PMPS, the reaction equilibrium is shifted toward synthesis by the aqueous insolubility of product generated. Substrates and proteases are selected by trial and error, yields are modest, and reaction times are slow. Once implemented, however, PMPS reactions can be simple, environmentally benign, and readily scalable to a commercial level. We examined the PMPS of a precursor of the artificial sweetener aspartame, a multiton peptide synthesis catalyzed by the enzyme thermolysin. X-ray structures of thermolysin in complex with aspartame substrates separately, and after PMPS in a crystal, rationalize the reaction's substrate preferences and reveal an unexpected form of substrate inhibition that explains its sluggishness. Structure guided optimization of this and other PMPS reactions could expand the economic viability of commercial peptides beyond current high-potency, low-volume therapeutics, with substantial green chemistry advantages.