Characterization of the role of the amino-terminal proline in the enzymatic activity catalyzed by macrophage migration inhibitory factor.
The cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) mediates several immune and inflammatory processes through unknown or poorly understood mechanisms. The protein shares structural homology with two bacterial isomerases, 4-oxalocrotonate tautomerase (4-OT) and 5-(carboxymethyl)-2-hydroxymuconate isomerase (CHMI), and catalyzes the enolization of phenylpyruvate and the ketonization of (p-hydroxyphenyl)pyruvate. The amino-terminal proline has been identified as the catalytic base in both the 4-OT- and CHMI-catalyzed reactions. MIF also has an amino-terminal proline that has been implicated as a catalytic group in the MIF-catalyzed reaction. To delineate further the role of Pro-1 in the MIF-catalyzed reaction, affinity labeling studies were performed with 3-bromopyruvate (3-BP). The results of this study show that 3-BP acts as an active-site-directed irreversible inhibitor of the enzymatic activity and modifies one site per monomeric subunit. The inhibitor, as its lactyl derivative, is covalently attached to an 11 residue amino-terminal fragment, Pro-1 to Arg-11. The only reasonable site for alkylation within this peptide fragment is the amino-terminal proline. Because the pKa measured for the pH dependence of kinact/KI (5.7 +/- 0.2) and that measured for the pH dependence of the kcat/Km for the enolization of phenylpyruvate (6.0 +/- 0.1) are comparable and in reasonable agreement with the previously measured pKa of Pro-1 (5.6 +/- 0.1) obtained by its direct titration [Swope, M., Sun H.-W., Blake, P., and Lolis, E. (1998) EMBO J. (in press)], it is concluded that Pro-1 acts as the general base catalyst in the MIF-catalyzed reaction. The structural and mechanistic parallels place 4-OT, CHMI, and MIF in a superfamily of enzymes related by their ability to catalyze the keto-enol tautomerization of a pyruvyl moiety.
Stamps, SL; Fitzgerald, MC; Whitman, CP
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