Meprins, multimeric metalloproteases expressed in kidney and intestinal epithelial cells as well as in certain leukocytes and cancer cells, have the ability to hydrolyze a variety of growth factors, vasoactive peptides, cytokines, and extracellular matrix proteins. The meprin B isoform exists primarily as a cell-surface homooligomer composed of disulfide-linked, multidomain β-subunits. To gain insight into how the tertiary and quaternary structure of meprin B affects function, the disulfide-bonding pattern and sites of domain-domain interactions were investigated using sedimentation equilibrium ultracentrifugation, cross-linking, and mass spectrometry techniques. Three symmetrical intersubunit disulfide bonds were identified in the non-catalytic interaction domains; two in the MAM (meprin, A-5 protein, protein-tyrosine phosphatase μ) domain and one in the TRAF (tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor) domain. These disulfide bridges are unique for the known homophilic interactions of these domains. Mutation of any of the intersubunit cysteine residues resulted in the inability of meprin B to form disulfide-linked dimers. The four cysteines of the protease domain formed intradomain disulfide bonds. The MAM domain also had one intradomain disulfide bond and one free cysteine. Cross-linking studies of the meprin B dimer with the amine-reactive cross-linker disuccinimidyl suberate revealed inter- and intradomain contacts within the protein, including prosequence-prosequence, protease-TRAF, protease-epidermal growth factor, and TRAF-TRAF interactions. From these observations, a model of the meprin B dimer structure is proposed that provides insight into the relationship between structure and function of this isoform.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology