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Biochemistry. 1990 Sep 25;29(38):9072-8.

Purification and spectral study of a microbial fatty acyltransferase: activation by limited proteolysis.

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Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2, Canada.


A fatty acyltransferase with a reaction mechanism similar to that of mammalian lecithin: cholesterol acyltransferase has been purified from culture supernatants of a mutant Aeromonas salmonicida containing the cloned Aeromonas hydrophila structural gene. Typically, more than 35 mg of protein were isolated from 2 L of culture supernatant. The amino-terminal sequence, amino acid composition, and molecular weight of the purified protein corresponded to predictions based on the sequence of the gene, indicating that the signal sequence had been correctly removed during export but that no further processing had occurred. Analysis of the far-UV circular dichroic (CD) spectrum of the enzyme showed that it consists of 31% alpha-helix, 21% beta-sheet, and 16% beta-turn, with 12% of aperiodic form. Treatment of the purified protein with a variety of proteases resulted in nicking near the C-terminus. This led to an increase in enzyme activity against lipids in erythrocyte membranes and increased rate of hydrolysis of p-nitrophenyl butyrate. Activation was accompanied by a change in the CD spectrum and a change in its aggregation state. The trypsin cut site was located between the two cysteines in the enzyme. Evidence is presented that the cysteines are joined by a disulfide bond and therefore cannot participate in acyl transfer. This may distinguish the microbial enzyme from lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase. This is the second extracellular A. hydrophila protein that we have shown can be activated by proteolysis after it is released.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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