The importance of certain amino acid residues in mammalian ornithine decarboxylase activity and degradation was studied by site-specific mutagenesis. Changes were made to the mouse ornithine decarboxylase cDNA in a plasmid containing a T7 RNA polymerase promoter. The plasmid was then used for the synthesis of RNA, which was translated in a reticulocyte lysate system. The activity of the ornithine decarboxylase formed and the stability of the protein to degradation in a reticulocyte lysate system were determined. Changes of lysine-169 or of histidine-197 to alanine completely abolished enzyme activity, indicating that these residues are essential for enzyme activity. The removal of the C-terminal 36 residues, the mutation of lysine-349 to alanine, of lysine-298 to alanine or the double change of serine-303 and glutamic acid-308 to alanine residues still resulted in an active enzyme. The last-mentioned finding indicates that the phosphorylation of serine-303 does not play an essential role in the catalytic activity of ornithine decarboxylase. The control ornithine decarboxylase protein was degraded rapidly in a reticulocyte lysate provided that ATP was added. The truncated protein missing the 36 residues from the C-terminus was much more stable in this system, and the protein containing the double change of serine-303 and glutamic acid-308 to alanine residues was slightly more stable than control ornithine decarboxylase protein. These results indicate that the altered residues may play a role in interaction with factors responsible for the rapid turnover of ornithine decarboxylase.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology