Substrate specificity of human metallocarboxypeptidase D: Comparison of the two active carboxypeptidase domains

Javier Garcia-Pardo, Sebastian Tanco, Lucía Díaz, Sayani Dasgupta, Juan Fernandez-Recio, Julia Lorenzo, Francesc X. Aviles, Lloyd D. Fricker

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3 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Garcia-Pardo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Metallocarboxypeptidase D (CPD) is a membrane-bound component of the trans-Golgi network that cycles to the cell surface through exocytic and endocytic pathways. Unlike other members of the metallocarboxypeptidase family, CPD is a multicatalytic enzyme with three carboxypeptidase-like domains, although only the first two domains are predicted to be enzymatically active. To investigate the enzymatic properties of each domain in human CPD, a critical active site Glu in domain I and/or II was mutated to Gln and the protein expressed, purified, and assayed with a wide variety of peptide substrates. CPD with all three domains intact displays >50% activity from pH 5.0 to 7.5 with a maximum at pH 6.5, as does CPD with mutation of domain I. In contrast, the domain II mutant displayed >50% activity from pH 6.5–7.5. CPD with mutations in both domains I and II was completely inactive towards all substrates and at all pH values. A quantitative peptidomics approach was used to compare the activities of CPD domains I and II towards a large number of peptides. CPD cleaved C-terminal Lys or Arg from a subset of the peptides. Most of the identified substrates of domain I contained C-terminal Arg, whereas comparable numbers of Lys- and Arg-containing peptides were substrates of domain II. We also report that some peptides with C-terminal basic residues were not cleaved by either domain I or II, showing the importance of the P1 position for CPD activity. Finally, the preference of domain I for C-terminal Arg was validated through molecular docking experiments. Together with the differences in pH optima, the different substrate specificities of CPD domains I and II allow the enzyme to perform distinct functions in the various locations within the cell.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0187778
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


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