The adipocyte-enhancer binding protein (AEBP) 1 is a novel transcriptional repressor with carboxypeptidase (CP) activity. AEBP1 binds to a regulatory sequence (termed adipocyte enhancer 1, AE-1) located in the proximal promoter region of the adipose P2 (aP2) gene, which encodes the adipocyte fatty-acid binding protein. Sequence comparisons and kinetic studies using known carboxypeptidase substrates, activators and inhibitors have characterized AEBP1 as a member of the regulatory B-like CP family. Significantly, the inherent CP activity of AEBP1 is stimulated by the AE-1 sequence. Our results indicate that AEBP1 is activated by a novel mechanism, wherby the direct binding of DNA enhances its protease activity. These results represent the first demonstration of DNA-mediated regulation of CP activity.

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