Classical late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis is a fatal neurodegenerative disease caused by mutations in CLN2, the gene encoding the lysosomal protease tripeptidyl-peptidase I (TPP I). The natural substrates for TPP I and the pathophysiological processes associated with lysosomal storage and disease progression are not well understood. Detailed characterization of TPP I substrate specificity should provide insights into these issues and also aid in the development of improved clinical and biochemical assays. To this end, we constructed fluorogenic and standard combinatorial peptide libraries and analyzed them using fluorescence and mass spectrometry-based activity assays. The fluorogenic group 7-amino-4-carbamoylmethylcoumarin was incorporated into a series of 7-amino-4-carbamoylmethylcoumarin tripeptide libraries using a design strategy that allowed systematic evaluation of the P1, P2, and P3 positions. TPP I digestion of these substrates liberates the fluorescence group and results in a large increase in fluorescence that can be used to calculate kinetic parameters and to derive the substrate specificity constant k cat/KM. In addition, we implemented a mass spectrometry-based assay to measure the hydrolysis of individual peptides in peptide pools and thus expand the scope of the analysis. Nonfluorogenic tetrapeptide and pentapeptide libraries were synthesized and analyzed to evaluate P1′ and P2′ residues. Together, this analysis allowed us to predict the relative specificity of TPP I toward a wide range of potential biological substrates. In addition, we evaluated a variety of new fluorogenic peptides with a P3 Arg residue, and we demonstrated their superiority compared with the widely used substrate Ala-Ala-Phe-AMC for selectively measuring TPP I activity in biological specimens.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology