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

A covalent angiogenin/ribonuclease hybrid with a fourth disulfide bond generated by regional mutagenesis.

Human angiogenin is a blood vessel inducing protein whose primary structure displays 33% identity to that of bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A (RNase A). Angiogenin catalyzes limited cleavage of 18S and 28S ribosomal RNA and is several orders of magnitude less potent than RNase A toward conventional substrates. A striking structural difference between angiogenin and RNase is the virtual absence of sequence similarity within the region of RNase that contains the Cys-65--Cys-72 disulfide bond. Indeed, angiogenin lacks this disulfide linkage. The present report describes the use of regional mutagenesis to generate a covalent angiogenin/RNase hybrid protein, ARH-I, where residues 58-70 of angiogenin have been replaced by the corresponding segment of RNase A (residues 59-73). The protein expressed in Escherichia coli readily folds at pH 8.5 to form the four expected disulfide bonds. The in vivo angiogenic potency of ARH-I is markedly diminished compared with that of angiogenin when examined using the chick chorioallantoic membrane assay. In contrast, its enzymatic activity is dramatically increased. With high molecular weight wheat germ RNA and tRNA, ARH-I is 660- and 300-fold more active than angiogenin, respectively, while with poly(uridylic acid), poly(cytidylic acid), cytidylyl(3'----5')adenosine (CpA), and uridylyl(3'----5')adenosine (UpA) activity is enhanced by about 200-fold. In addition, the specificity of ARH-I toward dinucleoside 3',5'-phosphates is qualitatively similar to RNase A; while angiogenin prefers cytidylyl(3'----5')guanosine (CpG) to UpA, both RNase and the hybrid prefer UpA to CpG. ARH-I also displays greater than 10-fold enhanced activity toward rRNA in intact ribosomes, while abolishing the capacity of the ribosome to support cell-free protein synthesis. The enhanced enzymatic properties of ARH-I parallel a 2-fold increase in chemical reactivity of active-site lysine and histidine residues based on rates of chemical modification. The data indicate that introduction of a region of RNase A containing the Cys-65--Cys-72 disulfide bond into angiogenin dramatically increases RNase-like enzymatic activity while reducing its angiogenicity.[1]


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