Limited proteolysis of glutamine synthetase is inhibited by glutamate and by feedback inhibitors.

M. Lei, U. Aebi, E. G. Heidner, D. Eisenberg

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Limited proteolysis of glutamine synthetase from Escherichia coli has been studied under nondenaturing conditions (pH 7.6, 20 degrees C). Trypsin cleaves the polypeptide chain of glutamine synthetase into two principal fragments, Mr = about 32,000 and 18,000. The covalently bound AMP group is attached to the larger fragment and its presence does not affect cleavage. Although the cleaved polypeptide chain does not dissociate under nondenaturing conditions, catalytic activity is lost. Chymotrypsin and Staphylococcus aureus protease produce similar cleavages in glutamine synthetase. The substrate L-glutamate retards tryptic as well as chymotryptic digestion. Tryptic digestion is also retarded by some of the feedback inhibitors of glutamine synthetase including CTP, L-alanine, L-serine, L-histidine, and glucosamine 6-phosphate. An implication of these findings is that there is a region of the glutamine synthetase polypeptide chain that is particularly susceptible to proteolysis. Either the glutamate and inhibitor sites are formed partly by this suceptible peptide or the binding of glutamate and some inhibitors induces conformational changes within the E. coli glutamine synthetase molecule in the region of the susceptible peptide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3129-3134
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 25 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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