Author(s): Wood DD, Moscarello MA
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Abstract Human myelin basic protein was fractionated into its various charge isomers by CM52 cation exchange chromatography. Approximately 25-30\% of the total charge applied to the column appeared in the void volume. This material termed "C-8," was further purified by reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography. Amino acid analyses of C-8 revealed low Arg (7 residue \% in C-8 compared to 11-12 residue \% in C-1) and increased Glx residues. The low Arg was accounted for by a corresponding amount of citrulline. Sequence analysis after chemical fragmentation (cyanogen bromide and BNPS-skatole) and enzymatic (cathepsin D and carboxypeptidase S-1) digestion localized the citrulline at residues 25, 31, 122, 130, 159, and 170 of the amino acid sequence. The effect of this loss of positive charge on the ability of the protein to aggregate lipid vesicles was demonstrated with vesicles composed of phosphatidylcholine (92.2 mol \%) and phosphatidylserine (7.8 mol \%). C-1 was the most effective charge isomer, and C-8 was the least effective. The ability of these charge isomers to aggregate vesicles correlated with the net positive charge on each. Vesicles composed of phosphatidylcholine alone were not aggregated by lipophilin or any of the charge isomers. However, when lipophilin was incorporated into phosphatidylcholine vesicles (50\% w/w), small, optically clear suspensions of vesicles were formed. None of C-1, C-2, or C-3 aggregated these vesicles, but C-8 produced rapid vesicle aggregation. Since the substitution of citrulline for Arg would generate several relatively long apolar sequences, these would enhance the ability of C-8 to interact with the hydrophobic lipophilin molecule, promoting vesicle aggregation by hydrophobic interactions. The mechanism by which citrulline is generated in myelin is not known, although enzymatic conversion has been described in other systems. Studies are underway to elucidate the mechanism by which this post-translational modification is generated.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics