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J Biol Chem. 2011 Aug 26;286(34):30130-41. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.246884. Epub 2011 Jun 30.

Kinetic analysis of autotaxin reveals substrate-specific catalytic pathways and a mechanism for lysophosphatidic acid distribution.

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Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8114, USA.


Autotaxin (ATX) is a secreted lysophospholipase D that hydrolyzes lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) into lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), initiating signaling cascades leading to cancer metastasis, wound healing, and angiogenesis. Knowledge of the pathway and kinetics of LPA synthesis by ATX is critical for developing quantitative physiological models of LPA signaling. We measured the individual rate constants and pathway of the LPA synthase cycle of ATX using the fluorescent lipid substrates FS-3 and 12-(N-methyl-N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl))-LPC. FS-3 binds rapidly (k(1) ≥500 μm(-1) s(-1)) and is hydrolyzed slowly (k(2) = 0.024 s(-1)). Release of the first hydrolysis product is random and rapid (≥1 s(-1)), whereas release of the second is slow and rate-limiting (0.005-0.007 s(-1)). Substrate binding and hydrolysis are slow and rate-limiting with LPC. Product release is sequential with choline preceding LPA. The catalytic pathway and kinetics depend strongly on the substrate, suggesting that ATX kinetics could vary for the various in vivo substrates. Slow catalysis with LPC reveals the potential for LPA signaling to spread to cells distal to the site of LPC substrate binding by ATX. An ATX mutant in which catalytic threonine at position 210 is replaced with alanine binds substrate weakly, favoring a role for Thr-210 in binding as well as catalysis. FTY720P, the bioactive form of a drug currently used to treat multiple sclerosis, inhibits ATX in an uncompetitive manner and slows the hydrolysis reaction, suggesting that ATX inhibition plays a significant role in lymphocyte immobilization in FTY720P-based therapeutics.

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