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Identification of potential exosite in cathepsin V necessary for elastin degradation Chen, Li Hsuen

Abstract

Besides collagen, elastin is the most common connective tissue structural protein in vertebrates and similar to collagen relatively resistant to non-specific degradation. Typical elastolytic proteases are the serine-dependent pancreatic and leukocyte elastases, the Zn-dependent matrix metalloproteinase 12, and several lysosomal cysteine proteases. Among the cysteine cathepsins, cathepsins S, K and V are highly potent elastases with cathepsin V displaying the highest activity among all known mammalian elastases. Despite a shared amino acid sequence identity of over 80% between cathepsins V and L and very similar subsite specificities, only cathepsin V has a potent elastase activity whereas cathepsin L lacks it. A series of chimera mutants containing various proportions of cathepsin V and cathepsin L were constructed in an attempt to define a specific region needed for elastin degradation. It was found that retaining the peptide sequence region from amino acids 89 to 119 of cathepsin V preserves the mutant’s elastolytic activity against elastin-Rhodamine conjugates whereas the region FTVVAPGK (amino acids 112-119) contributes approximately 60% of activity retention. Several additional mutant proteins involving mutual swapping of residues VDIPK (amino acids 113-117) of cathepsin L with residues TVVAPGK (amino acids 113-119) of cathepsin V, deletion of Glyl 18 from cathepsin V, and insertion of Gly between Prol 16 and Lysi 17 in cathepsin L were constructed and evaluated for their elastolytic activities. The results obtained with those mutant cathepsin proteins support the importance of the amino acid region spanning the residues from 112 to 119 in cathepsin V. Based on the 3-D structure of cathepsin V, this peptide region is located below subsite binding pocket S2 and forms a wall-like barrier which may act as an exosite for the productive binding of cross-linked elastin.

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