Activity of ulilysin, an archaeal PAPP-A-related gelatinase and IGFBP protease

Cynthia Tallant 1 , 1 , Raquel García-Castellanos 2 , 2 , Aniebrys Marrero 3 , 3 , Francesc Canals 4 , 4 , Yongzheng Yang 5 , 5 , Jean-Louis Reymond 6 , 6 , Maria Solà 7 , 7 , Ulrich Baumann 8 , 8  and F. Xavier Gomis-Rüth 9 , 9
  • 1 Departament de Biologia Estructural, Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona, C.S.I.C., c/ Jordi Girona, 18-26, E-08034 Barcelona, Spain, and Parc Científic de Barcelona, c/ Josep Samitier, 1-5, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain
  • 2 Departament de Biologia Estructural, Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona, C.S.I.C., c/ Jordi Girona, 18-26, E-08034 Barcelona, Spain, and Parc Científic de Barcelona, c/ Josep Samitier, 1-5, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain First two authors contributed equally to this work.
  • 3 Departament de Biologia Estructural, Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona, C.S.I.C., c/ Jordi Girona, 18-26, E-08034 Barcelona, Spain, and Parc Científic de Barcelona, c/ Josep Samitier, 1-5, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain
  • 4 Proteomics Laboratory, Medical Oncology Research Program, Vall d'Hebron University Hospital Research Institute, Psg. Vall d'Hebron, 119-129, E-08035 Barcelona, Spain
  • 5 Departement für Chemie und Biochemie, Universität Bern, Freiestrasse 3, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • 6 Departement für Chemie und Biochemie, Universität Bern, Freiestrasse 3, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • 7 Departament de Biologia Estructural, Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona, C.S.I.C., c/ Jordi Girona, 18-26, E-08034 Barcelona, Spain, and Parc Científic de Barcelona, c/ Josep Samitier, 1-5, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain
  • 8 Departament de Biologia Estructural, Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona, C.S.I.C., c/ Jordi Girona, 18-26, E-08034 Barcelona, Spain, and Parc Científic de Barcelona, c/ Josep Samitier, 1-5, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain and Departement für Chemie und Biochemie, Universität Bern, Freiestrasse 3, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • 9 Departament de Biologia Estructural, Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona, C.S.I.C., c/ Jordi Girona, 18-26, E-08034 Barcelona, Spain, and Parc Científic de Barcelona, c/ Josep Samitier, 1-5, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain

Abstract

Human growth and development are conditioned by insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), which have also implications in pathology. Most IGF molecules are sequestered by IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) so that exertion of IGF activity requires disturbance of these complexes. This is achieved by proteolysis mediated by IGFBP proteases, among which the best characterised is human PAPP-A, the first member of the pappalysin family of metzincins. We have previously identified and studied the only archaeal homologue found to date, Methanosarcina acetivorans ulilysin. This is a proteolytically functional enzyme encompassing a pappalysin catalytic domain and a pro-domain involved in maintenance of latency of the zymogen, proulilysin. Once activated, the protein hydrolyses IGFBP-2 to -6 and insulin chain β in vitro. We report here that ulilysin is also active against several other substrates, viz (azo)casein, azoalbumin, and extracellular matrix components. Ulilysin has gelatinolytic but not collagenolytic activity. Moreover, the proteolysis-resistant skeletal proteins actin and elastin are also cleaved, as is fibrinogen, but not plasmin and α1-antitrypsin from the blood coagulation cascade. Ulilysin develops optimal activity at pH 7.5 and strictly requires peptide bonds preceding an arginine residue, as determined by means of a novel fluorescence resonance energy transfer assay, thus pointing to biotechnological applications as an enzyme complementary to trypsin.

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