Characterization of human alpha 2-macroglobulin monomers obtained by reduction with dithiothreitol.
We compared the physicochemical characteristics of alpha 2-macroglobulin (alpha 2M) monomers produced by limited reduction and carboxamidomethylation to those of the naturally occurring monomeric alpha-macroglobulin homologue rat alpha 1-inhibitor 3 (alpha 1 I3). Unlike alpha 1 I3, alpha 2 M monomers fail to inhibit proteolysis of the high molecular weight substrate hide powder azure by trypsin. In contrast to alpha 1 I3, which remains monomeric after reacting with proteinase, alpha 2 M monomers reassociate to higher molecular weight species (dimers, trimers, and tetramers) after reacting with proteinase. Reaction of alpha 2 M monomers at molar ratios of proteinase to alpha 2M monomers as low as 0.3:1 leads to extensive reassociation and is accompanied by complete bait-region and thiolester bond cleavage. During the reaction of alpha 2M monomers with proteinases, the proteinase binds to the reassociating alpha 2M subunits but is not inhibited. Of significance, all the bound proteinase was covalently linked to the reassociated alpha 2M species. Treatment of alpha 2M monomers with methylamine results in thiolester bond cleavage but minimal reassociation. Treatment of alpha 2M monomers with methylamine followed by proteinase results in complete bait-region cleavage and is accompanied by marked reassociation of alpha 2M monomers to higher molecular weight species. However, no proteinase is associated with these higher molecular weight forms. We infer that bait-region cleavage is more important than thiolester bond cleavage in driving alpha 2M monomers to reassociate. Despite many similarities between alpha 1I3 and alpha 2M monomers, significant differences must exist with respect to proteinase orientation within the inhibitor to account for the failure of alpha 2M monomers to protect large molecular weight substrates from proteolysis by bound proteinase, in contrast to the naturally occurring monomeric homologue rat alpha 1 I3.
Moncino, MD; Roche, PA; Pizzo, SV
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