Molecular Bases of Disease
- Protein lysine carbamylation is an irreversible post-translational modification resulting in generation of homocitrulline (N-ε-carbamyllysine), which no longer possesses a charged ε-amino moiety. Two distinct pathways can promote protein carbamylation. One results from urea decomposition, forming an equilibrium mixture of cyanate (CNO−) and the reactive electrophile isocyanate. The second pathway involves myeloperoxidase (MPO)-catalyzed oxidation of thiocyanate (SCN−), yielding CNO− and isocyanate.
- Apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) is the major protein constituent of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and a target of myeloperoxidase-dependent oxidation in the artery wall. In atherosclerotic lesions, apoA-I exhibits marked oxidative modifications at multiple sites, including Trp72. Site-specific mutagenesis studies have suggested, but have not conclusively shown, that oxidative modification of Trp72 of apoA-I impairs many atheroprotective properties of this lipoprotein. Herein, we used genetic code expansion technology with an engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae tryptophanyl tRNA-synthetase (Trp-RS):suppressor tRNA pair to insert the noncanonical amino acid 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-OHTrp) at position 72 in recombinant human apoA-I and confirmed site-specific incorporation utilizing MS.
- The biochemical mechanisms through which eosinophils contribute to asthma pathogenesis are unclear. Here we show eosinophil peroxidase (EPO), an abundant granule protein released by activated eosinophils, contributes to characteristic asthma-related phenotypes through oxidative posttranslational modification (PTM) of proteins in asthmatic airways through a process called carbamylation. Using a combination of studies we now show EPO uses plasma levels of the pseudohalide thiocyanate (SCN−) as substrate to catalyze protein carbamylation, as monitored by PTM of protein lysine residues into Nϵ-carbamyllysine (homocitrulline), and contributes to the pathophysiological sequelae of eosinophil activation.
- The interaction of lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) with apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) plays a critical role in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) maturation. We previously identified a highly solvent-exposed apoA-I loop domain (Leu159–Leu170) in nascent HDL, the so-called “solar flare” (SF) region, and proposed that it serves as an LCAT docking site (Wu, Z., Wagner, M. A., Zheng, L., Parks, J. S., Shy, J. M., 3rd, Smith, J. D., Gogonea, V., and Hazen, S. L. (2007) Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 14, 861–868).