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Expression and Activity of Mutants of Fasciculin, a Peptidic Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor from Mamba Venom*

Abstract : Fasciculin, a selective peptidic inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase, is a member of the three-fingered peptide toxin superfamily isolated from snake venoms. The availability of a crystal structure of a fasciculin 2 (Fas2)-acetylcholinesterase complex affords an opportunity to examine in detail the interaction of this toxin with its target site. To this end, we constructed a synthetic fasciculin gene with an appropriate leader peptide for expression and secretion from mammalian cells. Recombinant wild-type Fas2, expressed and amplified in Chinese hamster ovary cells, was purified to homogeneity and found to be identical in composition and biological activities to the venom-derived toxin. Sixteen mutations at positions where the crystal structure of the complex indicates a significant interfacial contact point or determinant of conformation were generated. Two mutants of loop I, T8A/T9A and R11Q, ten mutants of the longest loop II, R24T, K25L, R27W, R28D, H29D, ΔPro30, P31R, K32G, M33A, and V34A/L35A, and two mutants of loop III, D45K and K51S, were expressed transiently in human embryonic kidney cells. Inhibitory potencies of the Fas2 mutants toward mouse AChE were established, based on titration of the mutants with a polyclonal anti-Fas2 serum. The Arg27, Pro30, and Pro31 mutants each lost two or more orders of magnitude in Fas2 activity, suggesting that this subset of three residues, at the tip of loop II, dominates the loop conformation and interaction of Fas2 with the enzyme. The Arg24, Lys32, and Met33 mutants lost about one order of magnitude, suggesting that these residues make moderate contributions to the strength of the complex, whereas the Lys25, Arg28, Val34-Leu35, Asp45, and Lys51 mutants appeared as active as Fas2. The Thr8-Thr9, Arg11, and His29 mutants showed greater ratios of inhibitory activity to immunochemical titer than Fas2. This may reflect immunodominant determinants in these regions or intramolecular rearrangements in conformation that enhance the interaction. Of the many Fas2 residues that lie at the interface with acetylcholinesterase, only a few appear to provide substantial energetic contributions to the high affinity of the complex.
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P. Marchot, Claudine Prowse, Joan Kanter, Shelley Camp, Elizabeth Ackermann, et al.. Expression and Activity of Mutants of Fasciculin, a Peptidic Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor from Mamba Venom*. Journal of Biological Chemistry, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1997, 272 (6), pp.3502-3510. ⟨hal-03262147⟩

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