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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The influence of charge and the distribution of charge in the polar region of phospholipids on the activity of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase.

Studies of the mechanism of lipid-induced regulation of the microsomal enzyme UDP-glucuronosyltransferase have been extended by examining the influence of charge within the polar region on the ability of lipids to activate delipidated pure enzyme. The effects of net negative charge, of charge separation in phosphocholine, and of the distribution of charge in the polar region of lipids were studied using the GT2p isoform isolated from pig liver. Prior experiments have shown that lipids with net negative charge inhibit the enzyme (Zakim, D., Cantor, M., and Eibl, H. (1988) J. Biol. Chem. 263, 5164-5169). The current experiments show that the extent of inhibition on a molar basis increases as the net negative charge increases from -1 to -2. The inhibitory effect of negatively charged lipids is on the functional state of the enzyme and is not due to electrostatic repulsion of negatively charged substrates of the enzyme. Although the inhibitory effect of net negative charge is removed when negative charge is balanced by a positive charge due to a quaternary nitrogen, neutrality of the polar region is not a sufficient condition for activation of the enzyme. In addition to a balance of charge between Pi and the quaternary nitrogen, the distance between the negative and positive charges and the orientation of the dipole created by them are critical for activation of GT2p. The negative and positive charges must be separated by the equivalent of three -CH2- groups for optimal activation by a lipid. Shortening this distance by one -CH2- unit leads to a lipid that is ineffective in activating the enzyme. Reversal of the orientation of the dipole in which the negative charge is on the polymethylene side of the lipid-water interface and the positive charge extends into water also produces a lipid that is not effective for activating GT2p. On the other hand, lipids with phosphoserine as the polar region, which has the "normal" P-N distance but carries a net negative charge, do not inhibit GT2p. This result again illustrates the importance of the dipole of phosphocholine for modulating the functional state of GT2p.[1]


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