The crystal structure of domain II of duck carboxypeptidase D, a prohormone/propeptide processing enzyme integrated in a three repeat tandem in the natural system, has been solved, constituting a prototype for members of the regulatory metallocarboxypeptidase subfamily. It displays a 300 residue N-terminal α/β-hydrolase subdomain with overall topological similarity to and general coincidence of the key catalytic residues with the archetypal pancreatic carboxypeptidase A. However, numerous significant insertions/deletions in segments forming the funnel-like access to the active site explain differences in specificity towards larger protein substrates or inhibitors. This α/β-hydrolase subdomain is followed by a C-terminal 80 residue β-sandwich subdomain, unique for these regulatory metalloenzymes and topologically related to transthyretin and sugar-binding proteins. The structure described here establishes the fundamentals for a better understanding of the mechanism ruling events such as prohormone processing and will enable modelling of regulatory carboxypeptidases as well as a more rational design of inhibitors of carboxypeptidase D.
- Inhibitor design
- X-ray crystal structure