Indexed on: 03 Nov '07Published on: 03 Nov '07Published in: Biochemistry
Lon is an ATP dependent serine protease responsible for degrading denatured, oxidatively damaged and certain regulatory proteins in the cell. In this study we exploited the fluorescence properties of a dansylated peptide substrate (S4) and the intrinsic Trp residues in Lon to monitor peptide interacting with the enzyme. We generated two proteolytically inactive Lon mutants, S679A and S679W, where the active site serine is mutated to an Ala and Trp residue, respectively. Stopped-flow fluorescence spectroscopy was used to identify key enzyme intermediates generated along the reaction pathway prior to peptide hydrolysis. A two-step peptide binding event is detected in both mutants, where a conformational change occurs after a rapid equilibrium peptide binding step. The Kd for the initial peptide binding step determined by kinetic and equilibrium binding techniques is approximately 164 micromolar and 38 micromolar, respectively. The rate constants for the conformational change detected in the S679A and S679W Lon mutants are 0.74 +/- 0.10 s(-1) and 0.57 +/- 0.10 s(-1), respectively. These values are comparable to the lag rate constant determined for peptide hydrolysis (klag approximately 1 s(-1)) [Vineyard, D., et al. (2005) Biochemistry 45, 4602-4610]. Replacement of the active site Ser with Trp (S679W) allows for the detection of an ATP-dependent conformational change within the proteolytic site. The rate constant for this conformational change is 7.6 +/- 1.0 s(-1), and is essentially identical to the burst rate constant determined for ATP hydrolysis under comparable reaction conditions. Collectively, these kinetic data support a mechanism by which the binding of ATP to an allosteric site on Lon activates the proteolytic site. In this model, the energy derived from the binding of ATP minimally supports peptide cleavage by allowing peptide substrate access to the proteolytic site. However, the kinetics of peptide cleavage are enhanced by the hydrolysis of ATP.