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Biochemical and structural analyses suggest that plasminogen activators coevolved with their cognate protein substrates and inhibitors.

Jendroszek, Agnieszka; Madsen, Jeppe B; Chana-Muñoz, Andrés; Dupont, Daniel M; Christensen, Anni; Panitz, Frank; Füchtbauer, Ernst-Martin; Lovell, Simon C; Jensen, Jan K.
J Biol Chem; 294(10): 3794-3805, 2019 03 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30651349
Protein sequences of members of the plasminogen activation system are present throughout the entire vertebrate phylum. This important and well-described proteolytic cascade is governed by numerous protease-substrate and protease-inhibitor interactions whose conservation is crucial to maintaining unchanged protein function throughout evolution. The pressure to preserve protein-protein interactions may lead to either co-conservation or covariation of binding interfaces. Here, we combined covariation analysis and structure-based prediction to analyze the binding interfaces of urokinase (uPA):plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and uPA:plasminogen complexes. We detected correlated variation between the S3-pocket-lining residues of uPA and the P3 residue of both PAI-1 and plasminogen. These residues are known to form numerous polar interactions in the human uPA:PAI-1 Michaelis complex. To test the effect of mutations that correlate with each other and have occurred during mammalian diversification on protein-protein interactions, we produced uPA, PAI-1, and plasminogen from human and zebrafish to represent mammalian and nonmammalian orthologs. Using single amino acid point substitutions in these proteins, we found that the binding interfaces of uPA:plasminogen and uPA:PAI-1 may have coevolved to maintain tight interactions. Moreover, we conclude that although the interaction areas between protease-substrate and protease-inhibitor are shared, the two interactions are mechanistically different. Compared with a protease cleaving its natural substrate, the interaction between a protease and its inhibitor is more complex and involves a more fine-tuned mechanism. Understanding the effects of evolution on specific protein interactions may help further pharmacological interventions of the plasminogen activation system and other proteolytic systems.
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