Structural model of human ceruloplasmin based on internal triplication, hydrophilic/hydrophobic character, and secondary structure of domains

Journal Article

A molecular model for the structure of human ceruloplasmin is proposed that is based on the determination of the complete amino acid sequence, studies of the products of limited proteolytic cleavage, calculations of the hydrophilic/hydrophobic character (hydropathy profile), and predictions of the local secondary structure. This multicopper oxidase (M(r) ~ 132,000) consists of a single polypeptide chain (1046 amino acid residues) with four attached glucosamine oligosaccharides. Computer-assisted statistical analysis of the internal repetition in the amino acid sequence confirms that the entire polypeptide chain is divided into three contiguous homology units, each containing about 350 amino acid residues. Each homology unit is subdivided into three domains, designated A1, A2, and B, that differ in structure and probably in function. Calculations of the hydropathy profile and predictions of the secondary structure support a molecular model based on internal repetition of three homology units and help to identify characteristic features of the interdomain junctions. The alignment scores for internal duplication of pairings of the three homology units of ceruloplasmin exceed the scores yet reported for contiguous internal duplication of any other protein. This highly significant evidence for intragenic repetition suggests that the ceruloplasmin molecule evolved by tandem triplication of ancestral genes coding for a primordial copper oxidase.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ortel, TL; Takahashi, N; Putnam, FW

Published Date

  • 1984

Published In

  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Volume / Issue

  • 81 / 15 I

Start / End Page

  • 4761 - 4765