Dissecting a role of a charge and conformation of Tat2 peptide in allosteric regulation of 20S proteasome

Julia Witkowska, Przemysław Karpowicz, Maria Gaczynska, Pawel A. Osmulski, Elzbieta Jankowska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Proteasome is a 'proteolytic factory' that constitutes an essential part of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. The involvement of proteasome in regulation of all major aspects of cellular physiology makes it an attractive drug target. So far, only inhibitors of the proteasome entered the clinic as anti-cancer drugs. However, proteasome regulators may also be useful for treatment of inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. We established in our previous studies that the peptide Tat2, comprising the basic domain of HIV-1 Tat protein: R49KKRRQRR56, supplemented with Q66DPI 69 fragment, inhibits the 20S proteasome in a noncompetitive manner. Mechanism of Tat2 likely involves allosteric regulation because it competes with the proteasome natural 11S activator for binding to the enzyme noncatalytic subunits. In this study, we performed alanine walking coupled with biological activity measurements and FTIR and CD spectroscopy to dissect contribution of a charge and conformation of Tat2 to its capability to influence peptidase activity of the proteasome. In solution, Tat2 and most of its analogs with a single Ala substitution preferentially adopted a conformation containing PPII/turn structural motifs. Replacing either Asp10 or two or more adjacent Arg/Lys residues induced a random coil conformation, probably by disrupting ionic interactions responsible for stabilization of the peptides ordered structure. The random coil Tat2 analogs lost their capability to activate the latent 20S proteasome. In contrast, inhibitory properties of the peptides more significantly depended on their positive charge. The data provide valuable clues for the future optimization of the Tat2-based proteasome regulators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-656
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Peptide Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy
  • alanine scan
  • allosteric inhibition/activation
  • circular dichroism
  • proteasome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Dissecting a role of a charge and conformation of Tat2 peptide in allosteric regulation of 20S proteasome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this