Processive post-translational modification. Vitamin K-dependent carboxylation of a peptide substrate.
Mass spectrometry has been used to demonstrate that vitamin K-dependent carboxylation is a processive post-translational modification (i.e. multiple carboxylations occur during a single association between enzyme and substrate). Purified vitamin K-dependent carboxylase can carboxylate as many as 12 glutamate residues in FIXQ/S, a peptide substrate based on amino acids -18 to 41 of the human blood clotting enzyme factor IX. Mass spectrometry was used to determine the number of gamma-carboxyl groups added to FIXQ/S by the carboxylase during an in vitro reaction. Despite the fact that most substrate molecules in a reaction were uncarboxylated, almost all carboxylated FIXQ/S molecules were carboxylated many times. This observation can only be explained by two types of mechanisms. In a processive mechanism, multiple carboxylations could occur during a single substrate binding event. Alternatively, a distributive mechanism could result in the observed behavior if the initial carboxylation event results in a substrate that is additionally carboxylated far more efficiently than the uncarboxylated FIXQ/S. Kinetic experiments and arguments were used to show that the vitamin K-dependent carboxylase is not distributive but rather is one of the first well documented examples of an enzyme that catalyzes a processive post-translation modification.
Morris, DP; Stevens, RD; Wright, DJ; Stafford, DW
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