The limited proteolysis approach was used to analyze the conformational features of human growth hormone (hGH) under acidic solvent conditions (A-state). Pepsin was used as the proteolytic probe because of its poor substrate specificity and its activity at low pH. Limited proteolysis of hGH in its A-state results in a selective cleavage of the Phe44-Leu45 peptide bond, leading to the production of fragments 1-44 and 45-191. The two fragments were isolated in homogeneous form for studying their conformational properties by means of spectroscopic methods. Fragment 1-44 was shown to retain little secondary and tertiary structure at neutral pH, while fragment 45-191 independently folds into a highly helical secondary structure. In particular, we have shown that the two peptic fragments are able to associate into a stable and native-like hGH complex 1-44/45-191. Our proteolysis data indicate that in acid solution hGH adopts a partly folded state characterized by a local unfolding of the first minihelix (residues 38-47) encompassing the Phe44-Leu45 peptide bond. Of interest, hGH has both insulin-like and diabetogenic effects. Two fragments of hGH occur in vivo and exert these two opposite activities, namely, fragment 1-43 showing an insulin-potentiating effect and fragment 44-191 showing a diabetogenic activity. The results of this study suggest that the conformational changes of hGH induced by an acidic pH promote the generation of the two physiologically relevant fragments by proteolytic processing of the hormone. Although pepsin cannot be the enzyme responsible for the in vivo processing of the hormone, we propose that limited proteolysis of hGH at low pH is physiologically relevant, since the hormone is exposed to an acidic environment in the cell. This study reports for the first time the analysis of the conformational features of the two individual functional domains of hGH and of their complex.

Limited proteolysis of human growth hormone at low pH: isolation, characterization, and complementation of the two biologically relevant fragments 1-44 and 45-191

SPOLAORE, BARBARA;POLVERINO DE LAURETO, PATRIZIA;FONTANA, ANGELO
2004

Abstract

The limited proteolysis approach was used to analyze the conformational features of human growth hormone (hGH) under acidic solvent conditions (A-state). Pepsin was used as the proteolytic probe because of its poor substrate specificity and its activity at low pH. Limited proteolysis of hGH in its A-state results in a selective cleavage of the Phe44-Leu45 peptide bond, leading to the production of fragments 1-44 and 45-191. The two fragments were isolated in homogeneous form for studying their conformational properties by means of spectroscopic methods. Fragment 1-44 was shown to retain little secondary and tertiary structure at neutral pH, while fragment 45-191 independently folds into a highly helical secondary structure. In particular, we have shown that the two peptic fragments are able to associate into a stable and native-like hGH complex 1-44/45-191. Our proteolysis data indicate that in acid solution hGH adopts a partly folded state characterized by a local unfolding of the first minihelix (residues 38-47) encompassing the Phe44-Leu45 peptide bond. Of interest, hGH has both insulin-like and diabetogenic effects. Two fragments of hGH occur in vivo and exert these two opposite activities, namely, fragment 1-43 showing an insulin-potentiating effect and fragment 44-191 showing a diabetogenic activity. The results of this study suggest that the conformational changes of hGH induced by an acidic pH promote the generation of the two physiologically relevant fragments by proteolytic processing of the hormone. Although pepsin cannot be the enzyme responsible for the in vivo processing of the hormone, we propose that limited proteolysis of hGH at low pH is physiologically relevant, since the hormone is exposed to an acidic environment in the cell. This study reports for the first time the analysis of the conformational features of the two individual functional domains of hGH and of their complex.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/2438136
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