Zinc ligands in an astacin family metalloprotease meprin A

Bruce A. Doll, James P. Villa, Faoud T. Ishmael, Judith S. Bond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A conserved tyrosine residue in the 'astacin family' of metalloproteases is one of five ligands proposed to coordinate zinc at the active site. Site-directed mutagenesis of the conserved Tyr (Y226) of recombinant mouse meprin α was used to test the hypothesis that this residue is essential for zinc binding and enzymatic activity. In addition, another proposed zinc binding ligand, H167, in the conserved (HEXXH) zinc binding motif of the meprin α protease domain was replaced by an alanine residue. Both mutants were expressed and secreted with the same subunit mass as wild type (90 kDa). The Y226F mutant retained the capacity to oligomerize to higher covalently and noncovalently-linked oligomers as the wild type, whereas H167A was predominantly a monomer. The kcat/Km for Y226F against a fluorgenic bradykinin substrate analog was approximately 15% of the wild type, while the H167A mutant had no detectable activity. Both Y226F and H167A were more susceptible to extensive degradation by trypsin compared with the wild-type protein. The zinc content in the wild-type and Y226F mutant proteins were similar, one molecule of zinc per subunit. The results indicate that Y226 is not essential for zinc binding, but Y226 and H167 are essential for full enzymatic activity and stability of the metalloproteinase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1167-1173
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Chemistry
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Jul 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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