Renal γ-glutamyl transpeptidases: Structural and immunological studies
Mammalian kidney gamma-glutamyl transpeptidases are compared with respect to subunit size, amino-terminal sequences of the two subunits, immunological, and some catalytic properties. The species-related variation in the apparent molecular weight of the subunits has been shown to be primarily due to the extent and nature of protein glycosylation. Using antibodies raised against the native enzymes and isolated sodium dodecyl sulfate-treated subunits, it is shown that the transpeptidases share some antigenic determinants. Some of these determinants in the highly glycosylated transpeptidase subunits can be detected by the antibodies only upon deglycosylation of the subunits. The amino-terminal sequences of the subunits exhibit considerable homology, in agreement with the immunological data. Thus, there are two segments of identity (3 and 5 residues in length, respectively) in the first 17 amino-terminal residues of the heavy subunits of rat, bovine, dog, and human kidney transpeptidases (papain-solubilized). Of particular interest is the finding of 91 to 96% identity in the first 23 amino-terminal residues of the small subunit of these transpeptidases. The small subunit contains the gamma-glutamyl binding site of the enzyme. There are three segments of identity (7, 6, and 8 residues in length, respectively) in the first 23 residues, each separated by either a Ser or an Ala residue. The first 7 amino-terminal residues of the small subunit in all four species are identical, indicating a high degree of specificity in the proteolytic processing of the common, single-chain precursor of the two subunits. Differences noted between transpeptidases in their relative acceptor specificity and in their susceptibility to inactivation by the glutamine antagonist, AT-125 (acivicin), must reflect subtle structural differences in their active center domains.