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

Histidinoalanine, a naturally occurring cross-link derived from phosphoserine and histidine residues in mineral-binding phosphoproteins.

Native mineral-containing phosphoprotein particles were isolated from the Heterodont bivalve Macrocallista nimbosa. The native particles are discrete structures about 40 nm in diameter which migrate as a single band during electrophoresis in agarose gels. Removal of the mineral component with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid dissociates the native protein into nonidentical subunits. The lower molecular weight subunits, representing 8% of the total protein, were obtained by differential centrifugation. The native protein is characterized by a high content of aspartic acid, phosphoserine, phosphothreonine, histidine, and the bifunctional cross-linking residue histidinoalanine. The low molecular weight subunits have the same amino acid composition except for a reduction in histidinoalanine and a corresponding increase in phosphoserine and histidine residues, demonstrating that the alanine portion of the cross-link is derived from phosphoserine residues. Ion-exchange chromatography and molecular sieve chromatography show that the low molecular weight subunits have a similar charge density but differ in molecular weight, and the relative mobilities of the subunits on agarose gels indicate that they are polymers of a single phosphoprotein molecule. The minimum molecular weight of the monomer is about 140 000 on the basis of the amino acid composition. The high molecular weight subunits are rich in histidinoalanine and too large to be resolved by either molecular sieve chromatography or gel electrophoresis. On the basis of the ultrastructural, electrophoretic, chromatographic, and compositional evidence, native phosphoprotein particles are composed of subunits ionically cross-linked via divalent cations. These subunits are variable molecular weight aggregates of a single phosphoprotein molecule covalently cross-linked via histidinoalanine residues. Evidence for a nonenzymatic cross-linking mechanism is discussed.[1]


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