Quantitative studies of caspase-3 catalyzed αII-spectrin breakdown
Witek, Marta A.
Fung, L. W.-M.
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Under various physiological and patho-physiological conditions, spectrin breakdown reactions generate several spectrin breakdown products (SBDPs)-in particular SBDPs of 150 kDa (SBDP150) and 120 kDa (SBDP120). Recently, numerous studies have shown that reactions leading to SBDPs are physiologically relevant, well regulated, and complex. Yet molecular studies on the mechanism of the SBDP formation are comparatively scarce. We have designed basic systems to allow us to follow the breakdown of αII-spectrin model proteins by caspase-3 in detail with gel electrophoresis, fluorescence and mass spectrometry methods. Amongst the predicted and reported sites, our results show that caspase-3 cleaves after residues D1185 and D1478, but not after residues D888, D1340 and D1475. We also found that the cleavage at these two sites is independent of each other. It may be possible to inhibit one site without affecting the other site. Cleavage after residue D1185 in intact αII-spectrin leads to SBDP150, and cleavage after D1478 site leads to SBDP120. Our results also show that the cleavage after the D1185 residue is unusually efficient, with a kcat/KM value of 40,000 M(-1) s(-1), and the cleavage after the D1478 site is more similar to most of the other reported caspase-3 substrates, with a kcat/KM value of 3000 M(-1) s(-1). We believe that this study lays out a methodology and foundation to study caspase-3 catalyzed spectrin breakdown to provide quantitative information. Molecular understanding may lead to better understanding of brain injuries and more precise and specific biomarker development.
Subjectnonerythroid (brain) spectrin
brain injury biomarkers