Thiol activation of endopeptidase EC A novel mechanism for the regulation of catalytic activity

Corie N. Shrimpton, Marc J. Glucksman, Rebecca A. Lew, John W. Tullai, Elliott H. Margulies, James L. Roberts, A. Ian Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Endopeptidase EC (EP24.15) is a thermolysin-like metalloendopeptidase involved in the regulated metabolism of a number of neuropeptides. Unlike other thermolysin-like peptidases EP24.15 displays a unique thiol activation, a mechanism that is not clearly understood. In this study we show that both recombinant and tissue-derived EP24.15 are activated up to 8-fold by low concentrations (0.1 mM) of dithiothreitol. Additionally, under non-reducing conditions, recombinant and native EP24.15 forms multimers that can be returned to the monomeric form by reduction. We have also shown that competitive inhibitor binding occurs only to the monomeric form, which indicates that catalytic site access is restricted in the multimeric forms. Through systematic site-directed mutagenesis we have identified that cysteine residues 246, 253, and possibly 248 are involved in the formation of these multimers. Furthermore, both a double mutant (C246S/C253S) and a triple mutant (C246S/C248S/C253S) are fully active in the absence of reducing agents, as measured by both inhibitor binding and hydrolysis. The formation and disruption of disulfide bonds involving these cysteine residues may be a mechanism by which EP24.15 activity is regulated through changes in intra- and extracellular redox potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17395-17399
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number28
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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