Selectivity in the post-translational, transglutaminase-dependent acylation of lysine residues

S. N.Prasanna Murthy, Thomas John Lukas, Theodore S. Jardetzky, Laszlo Lorand*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Transglutaminases (TGs) are known to exhibit remarkable specificities not only for the Q (or Gln) sites but also for the K (or Lys) sites of proteins with which they react. To gain further insight into K-site specificity, we examined the reactions of dansyl-ε-aminocaproyl-GlnGlnIleVal with three chemically and structurally well-characterized proteins (bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A, bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor, and chicken egg white lysozyme), as catalyzed by TG2, a biologically important post-translational enzyme. The substrates represent a total of 20 potential surface sites for acylation by the fluorescent Gln probe, yet only two of the lysine side chains reacted with TG2. While the K1 site of ribonuclease and the K15 site of the trypsin inhibitor could be readily acylated by the enzyme, none of the lysines in lysozyme were modified. The findings lead us to suggest that the selection of lysine residues by TG2 is not encoded in the primary amino acid sequence surrounding the target side chain but depends primarily on its being positioned in an accessible segment of the protein structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2654-2660
Number of pages7
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 31 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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