Human lactoferrin (hLF), a protein involved in host defence against infection and excessive inflammation, interacts with heparin, the lipid A moiety of bacterial lipopolysaccharide, human lysozyme (hLZ) and DNA. To determine which region of the molecule is important in these interactions, solid-phase ligand binding assays were performed with hLF from human milk (natural hLF) and N-terminally deleted hLF variants. Iron-saturated and natural hLF bound equally well to heparin, lipid A, hLZ and DNA. Natural hLF lacking the first two N-terminal amino acids (Gly1-Arg2) showed reactivities of one-half, two-thirds, one-third and one-third towards heparin, lipid A, hLZ and DNA respectively compared with N-terminally intact hLF. A lack of the first three residues (Gly1-Arg2-Arg3) decreased binding to the same ligands to one-eighth, one-quarter, one-twentieth and one-seventeenth respectively. No binding occurred with a mutant lacking the first five residues (Gly1-Arg2-Arg3-Arg4-Arg5). An anti-hLF monoclonal antibody (E11) that reacts to an N-lobe epitope including Arg5 completely blocked hLF-ligand interaction. These results show that the N-terminal stretch of four consecutive arginine residues, Arg2-Arg3-Arg4-Arg5, has a decisive role in the interaction of hLF with heparin, lipid A, hLZ and DNA. The role of limited N-terminal proteolysis of hLF in its anti-infective and anti-inflammatory properties is discussed.
N-terminal stretch Arg2, Arg3, Arg4 and Arg5 of human lactoferrin is essential for binding to heparin, bacterial lipopolysaccharide, human lysozyme and DNA
Patrick H. C. VAN BERKEL, E. J. Marlieke GEERTS, A. Harry VAN VEEN, Mathias MERICSKAY, A. Herman DE BOER, H. Jan NUIJENS; N-terminal stretch Arg2, Arg3, Arg4 and Arg5 of human lactoferrin is essential for binding to heparin, bacterial lipopolysaccharide, human lysozyme and DNA. Biochem J 15 November 1997; 328 (1): 145–151. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/bj3280145
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