Matrix sequestration of matrix metalloproteinases may be important for the facilitation of remodelling events and the migration of cells through the extracellular matrix. Using an ELISA technique we studied the ability of pro and active forms of gelatinases A and B (GLA and GLB) to bind to matrix components and the contribution made by the different enzyme domains. Pro and active forms of GLA and GLB bound to type-I and type-IV collagens, gelatin and laminin films. Binding to collagens occurred exclusively via the N-terminal portion of the molecule in both of the gelatinases; deletion of the fibronectin-like domain in GLA abolished binding. Fibronectin was shown to compete with GLA, confirming that binding occurs through this domain. GLA and GLB competed for binding to collagen type I, whereas collagenase and stromelysin bound to different sites and could be co-localized with the gelatinases. We conclude that gelatinases have different binding specificities from those previously documented for stromelysin and collagenase, which bind through their C-terminal domains to collagen fibrils.
Following spermatogenesis in the testis, mammalian spermatozoa pass into the epididymis, where they undergo changes which confer on them forward motility and the ability to recognize and penetrate the egg. Many of these maturation events involve androgen-regulated epididymal proteins which become associated with the sperm membrane, and/or effect changes to integral sperm membrane proteins. Here we report the sequence of an 89 kDa androgen-regulated protein from rat (Rattus norvegicus) and monkey (Macaca fascicularis) epididymis that is synthesized exclusively in the caput region and is localized on the apical surface of its principal epithelial cells. This protein shows remarkable similarity to a variety of proteases and disintegrins found in snake venoms and is similar to, but distinct from, the guinea-pig sperm surface PH-30 alpha/beta complex recently implicated in sperm-egg recognition and fusion.
An endoglucanase (1,4-beta-D-glucan glucanohydrolase, EC 220.127.116.11) from the thermophilic anaerobe Clostridium thermocellum was purified to apparent homogeneity without the use of denaturants. No carbohydrate is associated with the endoglucanase. A molecular mass of 76,000 Da was determined by SDS/PAGE. The optimal pH is 7.0 and the enzyme is isoelectric at pH 5.05. The enzyme has a temperature optimum of 70 degrees C and retains approx. 50% of its activity after 48 h at 60 degrees C. Hydrolysis of CM-cellulose takes place with a rapid decrease in viscosity but a slow liberation of reducing sugars, indicating an endoglucanase type of activity. The endoglucanase shows little ability to hydrolyse highly ordered cellulose. Cellobiose inhibits whereas Mg2+ and Ca2+ stimulate the activity. The enzyme is completely inactivated by 1 mM-Hg2+ and is inhibited by a thiol-blocking reagent.
A genomic library of Pseudomonas fluorescens subsp. cellulosa DNA was constructed in pUC18 and Escherichia coli recombinants expressing 4-methylumbelliferyl beta-D-cellobioside-hydrolysing activity (MUCase) were isolated. Enzyme produced by MUCase-positive clones did not hydrolyse either cellobiose or cellotriose but converted cellotetraose into cellobiose and cleaved cellopentaose and cellohexaose, producing a mixture of cellobiose and cellotriose. There was no activity against CM-cellulose, insoluble cellulose or xylan. On this basis, the enzyme is identified as an endo-acting cellodextrinase and is designated cellodextrinase C (CELC). Nucleotide sequencing of the gene (celC) which directs the synthesis of CELC revealed an open reading frame of 2153 bp, encoding a protein of Mr 80,189. The deduced primary sequence of CELC was confirmed by the Mr of purified CELC (77,000) and by the experimentally determined N-terminus of the enzyme which was identical with residues 38-47 of the translated sequence. The N-terminal region of CELC showed strong homology with endoglucanase, xylanases and an arabinofuranosidase of Ps. fluorescens subsp. cellulosa; homologous sequences included highly conserved serine-rich regions. Full-length CELC bound tightly to crystalline cellulose. Truncated forms of celC from which the DNA sequence encoding the conserved domain had been deleted, directed the synthesis of a functional cellodextrinase that did not bind to crystalline cellulose. This is consistent with the N-terminal region of CELC comprising a non-catalytic cellulose-binding domain which is distinct from the catalytic domain. The role of the cellulose-binding region is discussed.
Heparin-binding growth factors present in pig uterine tissue were purified by approx. 50,000-fold using a combination of ammonium sulphate precipitation, ion-exchange chromatography and heparin-affinity chromatography. Purification of the uterus-derived growth factors (UDGFs) was monitored by the stimulation of [3H]thymidine incorporation into Swiss 3T3 cells and by a radioreceptor assay using 125I-labelled epidermal growth factor (EGF) as the ligand. The latter was shown to be a novel, rapid and reliable assay for heparin-binding growth factors which utilizes their trans-modulation of EGF receptor affinity. UDGFs exhibit strong affinity for immobilized heparin and two forms, named alpha UDGF and beta UDGF, were distinguished by salt gradient elution from heparin-agarose affinity columns. beta UDGF activity was eluted from heparin-agarose between 1.5 M- and 1.8 M-NaCl, and was correlated with the elution of a protein doublet of 17.2 kDa and 17.7 kDa. Immunoblotting of heparin-purified beta UDGF indicated that the beta UDGF doublet is immunologically related to the 146-amino-acid form of bovine basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), and that the 17.2 kDa component is an N-terminally truncated form of the 17.7 kDa component. After purification by C4 reversed-phase h.p.l.c., this doublet was biologically active and greater than 95% pure as assessed by silver-stained SDS/PAGE. Amino acid composition and sequence analysis confirmed that these beta UDGF polypeptides were microheterogeneous forms of bFGF. Fractions containing alpha UDGF activity were eluted from heparin-agarose in 1.3 M-NaCl. These fractions contained a 16.5 kDa protein which co-migrated on SDS/polyacrylamide gels with recombinant human acidic FGF (aFGF) and which which cross-reacted with an antiserum raised against aFGF. The identification of heparin-binding growth factors in porcine uterus at the time of implantation raises the possibility that they function in the reproductive tract during early pregnancy.
The carnitine acetyltransferase and glutamate dehydrogenase activities of guinea-pig liver and other tissues were estimated. Both enzymes are wholly mitochondrial, and can only be fully observed after disruption of the mitochondrion. Triton X-100 (0·1%) or freeze-drying revealed more activity than other methods tried. In mitochondria prepared and suspended in 0·25 m -sucrose and in cell cytoplasm only small fractions of the total enzymic activity could be observed in guinea-pig liver: on average 7·5% of carnitine acetyltransferase and 5·5% of glutamate dehydrogenase. It is concluded that, in liver or mammary gland of goat, guinea pig or rat, little or no carnitine acetyltransferase is available in vivo to acetyl-CoA outside the mitochondrion.