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

Calcium-activated neutral proteinase of human brain: subunit structure and enzymatic properties of multiple molecular forms.

Calcium-activated neutral proteinase ( CANP) was purified 2,625-fold from postmortem human cerebral cortex by a procedure involving chromatography on diethylaminoethyl (DEAE)-cellulose, phenyl-Sepharose, Ultrogel AcA-44, and DEAE-Biogel A. The major active form of CANP exhibited a molecular weight of 94-100 kilodaltons (Kd) by gel filtration on Sephacryl 300 and consisted of 78-Kd and 27-Kd subunits. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis resolved the small subunit into two molecular species with different isoelectric points. CANP degraded most human cytoskeletal proteins but was particularly active toward fodrin and the neurofilament protein subunits (145 Kd greater than 200 Kd greater than 70 Kd). The enzyme required 175 microM Ca2+ for half-maximal activation and 2 mM Ca2+ for optimal activity toward [methyl-14C]azocasein. Other divalent metal ions were poor activators of the enzyme, and some, including copper, lead, and zinc, strongly inhibited the enzyme. Aluminum, a neurotoxic ion that induces neurofilament accumulations in mammalian brain, inhibited the enzyme 47% at 1 mM and 100% at 5 mM. A second CANP form lacking the 27-Kd subunit was partially resolved from the 100-Kd heterodimer during DEAE-Biogel A chromatography. The 78-Kd monomer exhibited the same specific activity, calcium ion requirement, pH optimum, and specificity for cytoskeletal proteins as the 100-Kd heterodimer, suggesting that the 27-Kd subunit is not essential for the major catalytic properties of the enzyme. The rapid autolysis of the 27-Kd subunit to a 18-Kd intermediate when CANP is exposed to calcium may explain differences between our results and previous reports, which describe brain mCANP in other species as a 76-80-Kd monomer or a heterodimer containing 76-80-Kd and 17-20-Kd subunits. The similarity of the 100-Kd human brain CANP to CANPs in nonneural tissues indicates that the heterodimeric form is relatively conserved among various tissues and species.[1]


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