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Biochemistry. 1996 Jul 30;35(30):9700-9.

The plasma and cytoplasmic forms of human gelsolin differ in disulfide structure.

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Biogen, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.


Gelsolin is a widely distributed actin binding protein that regulates actin filament length. It exists in both an intracellular and an extracellular form that is derived from a single gene by alternative splicing. Both forms contain the six homologous domains that are responsible for function. Little is known regarding differences between the forms. We have used a combination of cysteine-specific modification with 4-vinylpyridine, HPLC peptide mapping methods, and mass spectrometry to analyze the disulfide structures of human plasma and cytoplasmic gelsolin. Of the five Cys residues in the human gelsolin sequence, all were present in the free thiol form in human cytoplasmic gelsolin, while only three of them were free thiols in the human plasma form. Cys residues 188 and 201 in domain 2 of plasma gelsolin were disulfide linked. Recombinant human plasma gelsolin that had been expressed intracellularly in Escherichia coli and as a secreted protein from Cos green monkey cells was also investigated. The E. coli product lacked the disulfide but could be converted to the plasma-like structure with mild oxidation while the mammalian product formed the correct disulfide prior to isolation. Structural differences were also detected by limited proteolysis with plasmin. The differences in proteolytic susceptibility were also due to perturbations in domain 2. These studies demonstrate that the intracellular and extracellular gelsolins are structurally distinct and suggest that at least some of the preparations of recombinant gelsolin that are being used to study structure/function may be improperly folded. The experiments also demonstrate a general method for the location of disulfide bonds in proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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