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The Journal of Biological Chemistry

Year: 2009  |  Volume: 284  |  Issue: 24  |  Page No.: 16659 - 16666

Structural Insight into the Activation Mechanism of Human Pancreatic Prophospholipase A2

W Xu, L Yi, Y Feng, L Chen and J. Liu

Abstract

Pancreatic phospholipase A2 (phospholipase A2 group 1B, G1B) belongs to the superfamily of secreted phospholipase A2 (PLA2) enzymes. G1B has been proposed to be a potential target for diseases such as hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. Human pancreatic prophospholipase A2 (pro-hG1B) is activated by cleavage of the first seven-residue propeptide (phospholipase A2 propeptide, PROP). However, questions still remain on the mode of action for pro-hG1B. In this work, we expressed pro-hG1B in Pichia pastoris and determined the crystal structure at 1.55-Å resolution. The x-ray structure demonstrates that pro-hG1B forms a trimer. In addition, PROP occupies the catalytic cavity and can be self-cleaved at 37 °C. A new membrane-bound surface and activation mechanism are proposed based on the trimeric model of pro-hG1B. We also propose a new autoproteolytic mechanism for pro-hG1B by the reaction triad Asp49-Arg0-Ser(-2) that is similar to the serine protease catalytic triad.

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