Expression of human liver 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6- bisphosphatase in Escherichia coli. Role of N-2 proline in degradation of the protein

A. J. Lange, L. Li, A. M. Vargas, S. J. Pilkis

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9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human liver 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase is 96% identical to the rat and bovine liver enzymes, and all of the critical catalytic and substrate binding residues in both the kinase and bisphosphatase domains are conserved in the three enzymes. However, in contrast to rat liver 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase, which is readily expressed in an Escherichia coli T-7 RNA polymerase-based expression system, the human liver bifunctional enzyme could not be expressed in this system. Western blot and slot blot analysis revealed that although both the bifunctional enzyme protein and its mRNA were rapidly induced by the addition of isopropyl-1-thio-β-D-galactopyranoside, the protein underwent rapid degradation. Deletion of the N-2 proline residue or its mutation to arginine, the corresponding residue in the rat liver enzyme, revealed that this proline residue was responsible for its rapid degradation. The Pro-2 → Arg mutant could be expressed with a high yield (20 mg/liter) in E. coli. The results support the hypothesis that a proline residue at N-2 facilitates bifunctional enzyme degradation in E. coli. The E. coli expressed mutant form was purified to homogeneity by phosphocellulose chromatography, and its kinetic properties were compared with those of the rat liver enzyme. The kinetic properties of the two enzymes were identical except for the presence of substrate (fructose 6-phosphate) inhibition of the human liver enzyme but not of the rat liver enzyme. The ability to express and purify large amounts of human liver 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase will permit structure/function and x-ray crystal structure studies of the enzyme and ultimately its targeting for drug therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8078-8084
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume268
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1993

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