Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biochem J. 2003 Jul 15;373(Pt 2):475-84.

Processing of alpha4 integrin by the proprotein convertases: histidine at position P6 regulates cleavage.

Author information

Laboratory of Biochemical Neuroendocrinology, Clinical Research Institute of Montreal, 110 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, QC, Canada, H2W 1R7.


The proprotein convertases (PCs) participate in the limited proteolysis of integrin alpha4 subunit at the H(592)VISKR(597) downward arrow ST site (where underlined residues indicate positively charged amino acids important for PC-mediated cleavage and downward arrow indicates the cleavage site), since this cleavage is inhibited by the serpin alpha1-PDX (alpha1-antitrypsin Portland). Co-expression of alpha4 with each convertase in LoVo (furin-deficient human colon carcinoma) cells revealed that furin and proprotein convertase 5A (PC5A) are the best pro-alpha4 convertases. In agreement, processing of endogenous pro-alpha4 in human lymphoblastoid CEM-T4 cells was enhanced greatly in stable transfectants overexpressing either enzyme. In many leucocyte cell lines, the expression of furin closely correlated with the endogenous processing efficacy, suggesting that furin is a candidate pro-alpha4 convertase. Mutational analysis showed that replacement of P1 Arg(597) with alanine (R597A) abrogated cleavage, whereas the P6 mutant H592R is even better processed by the endogenous convertases of Chinese-hamster ovary CHO-K1 cells. In vitro kinetic studies using synthetic peptides confirmed the importance of a positively charged residue at P6 and showed that wild-type alpha4 processing is performed best by furin and PC5A at acidic and neutral pHs, respectively. Biosynthetic analysis of pro-alpha4 and its H592R and H592K mutants in the presence or absence of the weak base, NH(4)Cl, revealed that the P6 histidine residue renders its processing by furin sensitive to cellular pH. This suggests that pro-alpha4 cleavage occurs preferentially in acidic compartments. In conclusion, although the accepted furin processing motif is Arg-Xaa-(Lys/Arg)-Arg downward arrow, our data further extend it to include a regulatory histidine residue at P6 in precursors that lack a basic residue at P4.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center