Cytosolic phospholipase A2γ (cPLA2γ) is a calcium-independent, membrane-associated phospholipase A2 that possesses a C-terminal prenylation motif (-CCLA) whose covalent structure cannot be deduced from the primary sequence alone. Accordingly, we overexpressed human cPLA2γ containing an N-terminal His tag ((His)6cPLA2γ) in Sf9 cells and quantitatively solubilized and purified the enzyme by sequential immobilized metal affinity and Mono Q column chromatographies. The final preparation appeared as a single 61 kDa band after SDS - PAGE/silver-staining, possessed high lysophospholipase activity (50 μmol min-1 mg-1), and was inhibited by, but did not hydrolyze, palmitoyl-CoA. Radiolabeling of recombinant human cPLA2γ with [3H]-mevalonolactone in the absence of statins and subsequent cleavage of prenyl groups with Raney nickel revealed that the enzyme is only farnesylated and is not geranylgeranylated. Analysis of CNBr-digested cPLA2γ by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight/time-of-flight (MALDI/TOF-TOF) mass spectrometry demonstrated the presence of a farnesyl moiety at Cys-538, cleavage of the Cys538-Cys539 bond, and carboxymethylation of the resultant C-terminal prenylated cysteine. Collectively, these results describe the solubilization and purification of recombinant cPLA2γ to homogeneity and identify cPLA 2γ as a farnesylated protein that undergoes at least three sequential posttranslational modifications that likely facilitate its targeting and interactions with its membrane substrates.
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