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J Biol Chem. 2004 Jun 11;279(24):25276-83. Epub 2004 Apr 9.

The inhibitory effect of calumenin on the vitamin K-dependent gamma-carboxylation system. Characterization of the system in normal and warfarin-resistant rats.

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Departments of Internal Medicine and Biochemistry, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157, USA.


The vitamin K-dependent gamma-carboxylation system is responsible for post-translational modification of vitamin K-dependent proteins, converting them to Gla-containing proteins. The system consists of integral membrane proteins located in the endoplasmic reticulum membrane and includes the gamma-carboxylase and the warfarin-sensitive enzyme vitamin K(1) 2,3-epoxide reductase (VKOR), which provides gamma-carboxylase with reduced vitamin K(1) cofactor. In this work, an in vitro gamma-carboxylation system was designed and used to understand how VKOR and gamma-carboxylase work together as a system and to identify factors that can regulate the activity of the system. Results are presented that demonstrate that the endoplasmic reticulum chaperone protein calumenin is associated with gamma-carboxylase and inhibits its activity. Silencing of the calumenin gene with siRNA resulted in a 5-fold increase in gamma-carboxylase activity. The results provide the first identification of a protein that can regulate the activity of the gamma-carboxylation system. The propeptides of vitamin K-dependent proteins stimulate gamma-carboxylase activity. Here we show that the factor X and prothrombin propeptides do not increase reduced vitamin K(1) cofactor production by VKOR in the system where VKOR is the rate-limiting step for gamma-carboxylation. These findings put calumenin in a central position concerning regulation of gamma-carboxylation of vitamin K-dependent proteins. Reduced vitamin K(1) cofactor transfer between VKOR and gamma-carboxylase is shown to be significantly impaired in the in vitro gamma-carboxylation system prepared from warfarin-resistant rats. Furthermore, the sequence of the 18-kDa subunit 1 of the VKOR enzyme complex was found to be identical in the two rat strains. This finding supports the notion that different forms of genetic warfarin resistance exist.

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