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Single prenyl-binding site on protein prenyl transferases

By Luc Desnoyers and Miguel C. Seabra


Three distinct protein prenyl transferases, one protein farnesyl transferase (FTase) and two protein geranylgeranyl transferases (GGTase), catalyze prenylation of many cellular proteins. One group of protein substrates contains a C-terminal CAAX motif (C is Cys, A is aliphatic, and X is a variety of amino acids) in which the single cysteine residue is modified with either farnesyl or geranylgeranyl (GG) by FTase or GGTase type-I (GGTase-I), respectively. Rab proteins constitute a second group of substrates that contain a C-terminal double-cysteine motif (such as XXCC in Rab1a) in which both cysteines are geranylgeranylated by Rab GG transferase (RabGGTase). Previous characterization of CAAX prenyl transferases showed that the enzymes form stable complexes with their prenyl pyrophosphate substrates, acting as prenyl carriers. We developed a prenyl-binding assay and show that RabGGTase has a prenyl carrier function similar to the CAAX prenyl transferases. Stable RabGGTase:GG pyrophosphate (GGPP), FTase:GGPP, and GGTase-I:GGPP complexes show 1:1 (enzyme:GGPP) stoichiometry. Chromatographic analysis of prenylated products after single turnover reactions by using isolated RabGGTase:GGPP complex revealed that Rab is mono-geranylgeranylated. This study establishes that all three protein prenyl transferases contain a single prenyl-binding site and suggests that RabGGTase transfers two GG groups to Rabs in independent and consecutive reactions

Topics: Biological Sciences
Publisher: The National Academy of Sciences
Year: 1998
DOI identifier: 10.1073/pnas.95.21.12266
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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