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

Affinity labels for the anion-binding site in ovotransferrin.

Bromopyruvate, a known alkylating agent, has previously been reported to function as an affinity label for the anion-binding site in the iron-binding protein ovotransferrin [Patch, M.G., & Carrano, C. J. (1982) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 700, 217-220]. However, the present results indicate that hydroxypyruvate also functions in an almost identical manner, which implies that alkylation of a susceptible nucleophile cannot be the mechanism responsible for the covalent attachment of the anion. Model complexes and amino acid analysis of labeled ovotransferrin suggest that initial Schiff base formation, followed by reduction of the imine bond between the affinity anion and a lysine within the locus of the anion-binding site, accounts for the irreversible labeling. As expected, the covalently attached anions render the iron in the ovotransferrin-iron-anion ternary complex much more resistant to loss at low pH. It is proposed that the covalently labeled protein be used to test the hypothesis that iron removal from transferrin occurs by protonation and loss of the anion in low-pH lysosomal vesicles.[1]


  1. Affinity labels for the anion-binding site in ovotransferrin. Bailey, C.T., Patch, M.G., Carrano, C.J. Biochemistry (1988) [Pubmed]
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