Insights into substrate specificity and metal activation of mammalian tetrahedral aspartyl aminopeptidase.
ABSTRACT: Aminopeptidases are key enzymes involved in the regulation of signaling peptide activity. Here, we present a detailed biochemical and structural analysis of an evolutionary highly conserved aspartyl aminopeptidase called DNPEP. We show that this peptidase can cleave multiple physiologically relevant substrates, including angiotensins, and thus may play a key role in regulating neuron function. Using a combination of x-ray crystallography, x-ray absorption spectroscopy, and single particle electron microscopy analysis, we provide the first detailed structural analysis of DNPEP. We show that this enzyme possesses a binuclear zinc-active site in which one of the zinc ions is readily exchangeable with other divalent cations such as manganese, which strongly stimulates the enzymatic activity of the protein. The plasticity of this metal-binding site suggests a mechanism for regulation of DNPEP activity. We also demonstrate that DNPEP assembles into a functionally relevant tetrahedral complex that restricts access of peptide substrates to the active site. These structural data allow rationalization of the enzyme's preference for short peptide substrates with N-terminal acidic residues. This study provides a structural basis for understanding the physiology and bioinorganic chemistry of DNPEP and other M18 family aminopeptidases.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Aspartyl aminopeptidase (DNPEP), with specificity towards an acidic amino acid at the N-terminus, is the only mammalian member among the poorly understood M18 peptidases. DNPEP has implicated roles in protein and peptide metabolism, as well as the renin-angiotensin system in blood pressure regulation. Despite previous enzyme and substrate characterization, structural details of DNPEP regarding ligand recognition and catalytic mechanism remain to be delineated. RESULTS:The crystal structure of human DNPEP complexed with zinc and a substrate analogue aspartate-β-hydroxamate reveals a dodecameric machinery built by domain-swapped dimers, in agreement with electron microscopy data. A structural comparison with bacterial homologues identifies unifying catalytic features among the poorly understood M18 enzymes. The bound ligands in the active site also reveal the coordination mode of the binuclear zinc centre and a substrate specificity pocket for acidic amino acids. CONCLUSIONS:The DNPEP structure provides a molecular framework to understand its catalysis that is mediated by active site loop swapping, a mechanism likely adopted in other M18 and M42 metallopeptidases that form dodecameric complexes as a self-compartmentalization strategy. Small differences in the substrate binding pocket such as shape and positive charges, the latter conferred by a basic lysine residue, further provide the key to distinguishing substrate preference. Together, the structural knowledge will aid in the development of enzyme-/family-specific aminopeptidase inhibitors.
Project description:alpha-Human atrial natriuretic peptide, a 28-amino-acid-residue peptide, was rapidly hydrolysed by pig kidney microvillar membranes in vitro, with a t1/2 of 8 min, comparable with the rate observed with angiotensins II and III. The products of hydrolysis were analysed by h.p.l.c., the pattern obtained with membranes being similar to that with purified endopeptidase-24.11 (EC 184.108.40.206). No hydrolysis by peptidyl dipeptidase A (angiotensin I converting enzyme, EC 220.127.116.11) was observed. The contribution of the various microvillar membrane peptidases was assessed by including specific inhibitors. Phosphoramidon, an inhibitor of endopeptidase-24.11, caused 80-100% suppression of the products. Captopril and amastatin (inhibitors of peptidyl dipeptidase A and aminopeptidases respectively) had no significant effect. Hydrolysis at an undefined site within the disulphide-linked ring occurred rapidly, followed by hydrolysis at other sites, including the Ser25--Phe26 bond.
Project description:Aspartyl aminopeptidase (DNPEP) has been implicated in the control of angiotensin signaling and endosome trafficking, but its precise biologic roles remain incompletely defined. We performed a high-throughput screen of ?25,000 small molecules to identify inhibitors of DNPEP for use as tools to study its biologic functions. Twenty-three confirmed hits inhibited DNPEP-catalyzed hydrolysis of angiotensin II with micromolar potency. A counter screen against glutamyl aminopeptidase (ENPEP), an enzyme with substrate specificity similar to that of DNPEP, identified eight DNPEP-selective inhibitors. Structure-activity relationships and modeling studies revealed structural features common to the identified inhibitors, including a metal-chelating group and a charged or polar moiety that could interact with portions of the enzyme active site. The compounds identified in this study should be valuable tools for elucidating DNPEP physiology.
Project description:Eukaryotic aminopeptidase P1 (APP1), also known as X-prolyl aminopeptidase (XPNPEP1) in human tissues, is a cytosolic exopeptidase that preferentially removes amino acids from the N-terminus of peptides possessing a penultimate N-terminal proline residue. The enzyme has an important role in the catabolism of proline containing peptides since peptide bonds adjacent to the imino acid proline are resistant to cleavage by most peptidases. We show that recombinant and catalytically active Caenorhabditis elegans APP-1 is a dimer that uses dinuclear zinc at the active site and, for the first time, we provide structural information for a eukaryotic APP-1 in complex with the inhibitor, apstatin. Our analysis reveals that C. elegans APP-1 shares similar mode of substrate binding and a common catalytic mechanism with other known X-prolyl aminopeptidases.
Project description:The carboxypeptidase T (CPT) from Thermoactinomyces vulgaris has an active site structure and 3D organization similar to pancreatic carboxypeptidases A and B (CPA and CPB), but differs in broader substrate specificity. The crystal structures of CPT complexes with the transition state analogs N-sulfamoyl-L-leucine and N-sulfamoyl-L-glutamate (SLeu and SGlu) were determined and compared with previously determined structures of CPT complexes with N-sulfamoyl-L-arginine and N-sulfamoyl-L-phenylalanine (SArg and SPhe). The conformations of residues Tyr255 and Glu270, the distances between these residues and the corresponding ligand groups, and the Zn-S gap between the zinc ion and the sulfur atom in the ligand's sulfamoyl group that simulates a distance between the zinc ion and the tetrahedral sp3-hybridized carbon atom of the converted peptide bond, vary depending on the nature of the side chain in the substrate's C-terminus. The increasing affinity of CPT with the transition state analogs in the order SGlu, SArg, SPhe, SLeu correlates well with a decreasing Zn-S gap in these complexes and the increasing efficiency of CPT-catalyzed hydrolysis of the corresponding tripeptide substrates (ZAAL > ZAAF > ZAAR > ZAAE). Thus, the side chain of the ligand that interacts with the primary specificity pocket of CPT, determines the geometry of the transition complex, the relative orientation of the bond to be cleaved by the catalytic groups of the active site and the catalytic properties of the enzyme. In the case of CPB, the relative orientation of the catalytic amino acid residues, as well as the distance between Glu270 and SArg/SPhe, is much less dependent on the nature of the corresponding side chain of the substrate. The influence of the nature of the substrate side chain on the structural organization of the transition state determines catalytic activity and broad substrate specificity of the carboxypeptidase T.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Glutaminyl cyclase (QC) forms the pyroglutamyl residue at the amino terminus of numerous secretory peptides and proteins. We previously proposed the mammalian QC has some features in common with zinc aminopeptidases. We now have generated a structural model for human QC based on the aminopeptidase fold (pdb code 1AMP) and mutated the apparent active site residues to assess their role in QC catalysis. RESULTS: The structural model proposed here for human QC, deposited in the protein databank as 1MOI, is supported by a variety of fold prediction programs, by the circular dichroism spectrum, and by the presence of the disulfide. Mutagenesis of the six active site residues present in both 1AMP and QC reveal essential roles for the two histidines (140 and 330, QC numbering) and the two glutamates (201 and 202), while the two aspartates (159 and 248) appear to play no catalytic role. ICP-MS analysis shows less than stoichiometric zinc (0.3:1) in the purified enzyme. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that human pituitary glutaminyl cyclase and bacterial zinc aminopeptidase share a common fold and active site residues. In contrast to the aminopeptidase, however, QC does not appear to require zinc for enzymatic activity.
Project description:Malarial dipeptidyl aminopeptidases (DPAPs) are cysteine proteases important for parasite development thus making them attractive drug targets. In order to develop inhibitors specific to the parasite enzymes, it is necessary to map the determinants of substrate specificity of the parasite enzymes and its mammalian homologue cathepsin C (CatC). Here, we screened peptide-based libraries of substrates and covalent inhibitors to characterize the differences in specificity between parasite DPAPs and CatC, and used this information to develop highly selective DPAP1 and DPAP3 inhibitors. Interestingly, while the primary amino acid specificity of a protease is often used to develop potent inhibitors, we show that equally potent and highly specific inhibitors can be developed based on the sequences of nonoptimal peptide substrates. Finally, our homology modelling and docking studies provide potential structural explanations of the differences in specificity between DPAP1, DPAP3, and CatC, and between substrates and inhibitors in the case of DPAP3. Overall, this study illustrates that focusing the development of protease inhibitors solely on substrate specificity might overlook important structural features that can be exploited to develop highly potent and selective compounds.
Project description:The proteolytic system of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis was analyzed, and an intracellular endopeptidase (PepO) was identified and characterized. This work reports the first complete cloning, purification, and characterization of a proteolytic enzyme in Bifidobacterium spp. Aminopeptidase activities (general aminopeptidases, proline iminopeptidase, X-prolyl dipeptidylaminopeptidase) found in cell extracts of B. animalis subsp. lactis were higher for cells that had been grown in a milk-based medium than for those grown in MRS. A high specific proline iminopeptidase activity was observed in B. animalis subsp. lactis. Whole cells and cell wall-bound protein fractions showed no caseinolytic activity; however, the combined action of intracellular proteolytic enzymes could hydrolyze casein fractions rapidly. The endopeptidase activity of B. animalis subsp. lactis was examined in more detail, and the gene encoding an endopeptidase O in B. animalis subsp. lactis was cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli. The deduced amino acid sequence for B. animalis subsp. lactis PepO indicated that it is a member of the M13 peptidase family of zinc metallopeptidases and displays 67.4% sequence homology with the predicted PepO protein from Bifidobacterium longum. The recombinant enzyme was shown to be a 74-kDa monomer. Activity of B. animalis subsp. lactis PepO was found with oligopeptide substrates of at least 5 amino acid residues, such as met-enkephalin, and with larger substrates, such as the 23-amino-acid peptide alpha s1-casein(f1-23). The predominant peptide bond cleaved by B. animalis subsp. lactis PepO was on the N-terminal side of phenylalanine residues. The enzyme also showed a post-proline secondary cleavage site.
Project description:Matrix metalloproteinases are zinc-containing enzymes capable of degrading all components of the extracellular matrix. Owing to their role in human disease, matrix metalloproteinase have been the subject of extensive study. A bioinorganic approach was recently used to identify novel inhibitors based on a maltol zinc-binding group, but accompanying molecular-docking studies failed to explain why one of these inhibitors, AM-6, had approximately 2500-fold selectivity for MMP-3 over MMP-2. A number of studies have suggested that the matrix-metalloproteinase active site is highly flexible, leading some to speculate that differences in active-site flexibility may explain inhibitor selectivity. To extend the bioinorganic approach in a way that accounts for MMP-2 and MMP-3 dynamics, we here investigate the predicted binding modes and energies of AM-6 docked into multiple structures extracted from matrix-metalloproteinase molecular dynamics simulations. Our findings suggest that accounting for protein dynamics is essential for the accurate prediction of binding affinity and selectivity. Additionally, AM-6 and other similar inhibitors likely select for and stabilize only a subpopulation of all matrix-metalloproteinase conformations sampled by the apo protein. Consequently, when attempting to predict ligand affinity and selectivity using an ensemble of protein structures, it may be wise to disregard protein conformations that cannot accommodate the ligand.
Project description:Aminopeptidase A (EC 18.104.22.168, APA) is a 130 kDa membrane-bound aminopeptidase that contains the consensus sequence HEXXH (385-389) found in the zinc metalloprotease family, the zincins. Sequence alignment of the mouse APA with other monozinc-aminopeptidases indicates the presence of a highly conserved glutamate residue (Glu352 in APA) found in the conserved motif GAMEN (349-353). In monozinc-aminopeptidases, the negative charge of the glutamate side-chain carboxylate may constitute the anionic binding site involved in the recognition of the free amino group of substrates or inhibitors. The functional role of Glu352 in APA was investigated by substituting this residue with an aspartate (Asp352), a glycine (Gly352), a glutamine (Gln352) or an arginine (Arg352) residue by site-directed mutagenesis. Kinetic studies showed that the Km values of the mutant enzymes were unaffected, whereas kcat values were decreased 10-250-fold, resulting in a 10-, 30- 260- and 400-fold reduction in cleavage efficiencies for the mutants Asp352, Gly352, Gln352 and Arg352 respectively. The inhibitory potency of two different classes of inhibitors, a thiol and a phosphonate compound, was significantly (P<0.05) decreased by 10- and 4-fold respectively in the mutated enzymes. Moreover, the inhibitory potency of angiotensin I, used as a competitor of the synthetic substrate alpha-l-glutamyl beta-naphthylamide, displayed a 4-fold reduction (P<0.01) in the mutated enzymes, whereas the Ki values of its N-acetyl derivative were unchanged. These data strongly suggest that Glu352 is involved in the catalytic process of APA and contributes to the exopeptidase activity of this enzyme through interaction with the N-terminal part of substrates or inhibitors.