Effect of tissue transglutaminase on the solubility of proteins containing expanded polyglutamine repeats.
The expansion of a polyglutamine (polyQ) domain in neuronal proteins is the molecular genetic cause of at least eight neurodegenerative diseases. Proteins with a polyQ domain that is greater than 40 Q (Q40) residues form insoluble intranuclear and cytoplasmic inclusions. Expanded polyQ proteins self-associate by non-covalent interactions and become insoluble. They can also be covalently cross-linked by tissue transglutaminase (TTG), a calcium-dependent enzyme present in cells throughout the nervous system. However, it remains unclear whether TTG cross-linking directly contributes to the insolubility of the expanded polyQ proteins. Using an in vitro solubility assay, we found TTG cross-linked Q62 monomers into high molecular weight soluble complexes in a calcium-dependent reaction. Inhibition of TTG cross-linking by primary amine substrates including putrescine and biotinylated pentylamine antagonized TTG's ability to form soluble complexes. In contrast, primary amines (histamine and lysine) that were less effective inhibitors of TTG cross-linking did not inhibit Q62 from becoming insoluble. In summary, TTG can increase the solubility of expanded polyQ proteins by catalyzing intermolecular cross-links. This demonstrates directly that TTG will reduce the ability of expanded polyQ proteins from becoming insoluble. Furthermore, the effectiveness of a primary amine substrate at inhibiting formation of insoluble inclusions may be related to their ability to inhibit intermolecular cross-linking by TTG.
Lai, TS; Tucker, T; Burke, JR; Strittmatter, WJ; Greenberg, CS
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