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J Biol Chem. 1995 Jan 20;270(3):1422-8.

Structural and functional significance of cysteine residues of glutathione-independent prostaglandin D synthase. Identification of Cys65 as an essential thiol.

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Department of Molecular Behavioral Biology, Osaka Bioscience Institute, Japan.


Glutathione-independent prostaglandin D synthase in rat brain is composed of 189 amino acid residues and catalyzes the isomerization of prostaglandin H2 to prostaglandin D2, an endogenous sleep-promoting substance. This enzyme is the only enzyme among members of the lipocalin superfamily composed of various secretory lipophilic ligand-carrier proteins and is recently identified to be a beta-trace protein, a major constituent of human cerebrospinal fluid. We expressed the active enzyme in Escherichia coli and then systematically substituted all cysteine residues of the delta 1-29 enzyme at positions of 65, 89, and 186 with alanine or serine. The parent and mutant enzymes were purified to apparent homogeneity with a recovery of approximately 30% by chromatography with Sephadex G-50 and S-Sepharose, by which all the enzymes showed identical elution profiles. The purified enzymes, irrespective of the mutation, showed almost the same circular dichroism spectral characteristics as displayed by a highly ordered beta-structure. The recombinant enzymes containing Cys65 showed the activity comparable with that of the enzyme purified from rat brain (approximately 3 mumol/min/mg of protein) in the presence, but not in the absence, of sulfhydryl compounds. However, all of the single, double, and triple mutants without Cys65 lost the enzyme activity. The purified delta 1-29 Ala89,186 enzyme was inactivated reversibly by conjugation with glutathione at Cys65 and irreversibly by the stoichiometric chemical modification with N-ethylmaleimide. These results indicate that Cys65 is an essential thiol of the enzyme and that both the intrinsic and extrinsic sulfhydryl groups are necessary for nonoxidative rearrangement of 9,11-endoperoxide of prostaglandin H2 to produce prostaglandin D2 catalyzed by the enzyme.

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