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Research article, 2007

Glycosaminoglycans facilitate procathepsin B activation through disruption of propeptide-mature enzyme interactions

Caglic D, Pungercar JR, Pejler G, Turk V, Turk B


Lysosomal cysteine cathepsin B participates in numerous diverse cellular processes. In acquiring its activity, the proregion, which blocks the substrate-binding site in the proenzyme, needs to be cleaved off. Here we demonstrate that polyanionic polysaccharides, glycosaminoglycans ( GAGs), can accelerate the autocatalytic removal of the propeptide and subsequent activation of cathepsin B. We show that naturally occurring GAGs such as chondroitin sulfates and heparin, as well as the synthetic analog dextran sulfate, accelerate the processing in a concentration-dependent manner. Heparin oligosaccharides down to the size of tetrasaccharides were efficient in accelerating the procathepsin B processing, whereas disaccharides were without effect. Further, the ability of the GAGs to accelerate procathepsin B processing was sensitive to increasing NaCl concentrations, indicating that electrostatic interaction between the GAGs and procathepsin B are operative in the accelerating effect. Also the processing of the catalytic procathepsin B mutant by wild type cathepsin B was enhanced in the presence of GAGs, suggesting that GAGs induce a conformational change in procathepsin B, converting it into a better substrate. Site-directed mutagenesis showed that His(28), Lys(39), and Arg(40), located within the procathepsin B propeptide, have significant roles in the acceleration of procathepsin B activation induced by short GAGs. Because procathepsin B and GAGs often co-localize in vivo, we propose that GAGs may play a physiological role in the activation of procathepsin B

Published in

Journal of Biological Chemistry
2007, Volume: 282, number: 45, pages: 33076-33085

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    Veterinary Science
    Animal and Dairy Science

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