With the use of a high yield prokaryotic expression system, large amounts of human eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) have been obtained. This has allowed a thorough kinetic study of the ribonuclease activity of this protein. The catalytic efficiencies for oligouridylic acids of the type (Up)(n)U>p, mononucleotides U>p and C>p, and dinucleoside monophosphates CpA, UpA, and UpG have been interpreted by the specific subsites distribution in ECP. The distribution of products derived from digestion of high molecular mass substrates, such as poly(U) and poly(C), by ECP was compared with that of RNase A. The characteristic cleavage pattern of polynucleotides by ECP suggests that an exonuclease-like mechanism is predominantly favored in comparison to the endonuclease catalytic mechanism of RNase A. Comparative molecular modeling with bovine pancreatic RNase A-substrate analog crystal complexes revealed important differences in the subsite structure, whereas the secondary phosphate-binding site (P2) is lacking, the secondary base subsite (B2) is severely impaired, and there are new interactions at the p0, B0, and p-1 sites, located upstream of the P-O-5' cleavable phosphodiester bond, that are not found in RNase A. The differences in the multisubsites structure could explain the reduced catalytic efficiency of ECP and the shift from an endonuclease to an exonuclease-type mechanism.
|Journal||Journal of Biological Chemistry|
|Publication status||Published - 28 May 1999|