Identification of Conus peptidylprolyl cis-trans isomerases (PPIases) and assessment of their role in the oxidative folding of conotoxins

Helena Safavi-Hemami, Grzegorz Bulaj, Baldomero Marquez Olivera, Nicholas Andrew Williamson, Anthony W. Purcell

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Peptidylprolyl cis-trans isomerases (PPIases) are ubiquitous proteins that catalyze the cis-trans isomerization of prolines. A number of proteins, such as Drosophila rhodopsin and the human immunodeficiency viral protein HIV-1 Gag, have been identified as endogenous substrates for PPIases. However, very little is known about the interaction of PPIases with small, disulfide-rich peptides. Marine cone snails synthesize a wide array of cysteine-rich peptides, called conotoxins, many of which contain one or more prolines or hydroxyprolines. To identify whether PPIase-associated cis-trans isomerization of these residues affects the oxidative folding of conotoxins, we identified, sequenced, and expressed three functionally active isoforms of PPIase from the venom gland of Conus novaehollandiae, and we characterized their ability to facilitate oxidative folding of conotoxins in vitro. Three conotoxins, namely μ-GIIIA, μ-SIIIA, and ω-MVIIC, derived from two distinct toxin gene families were assayed. Conus PPIase significantly increased the rate of appearance of the native form of μ-GIIIA, a peptide containing three hydroxyprolines. In contrast, the presence of PPIase had no effect on the folding of μ-SIIIA and ω-MVIIC, peptides containing no or one proline residue, respectively.Wefurther showed that an endoplasmic reticulum-resident PPIase isoform facilitated folding of μ-GIIIA more efficiently than two cytosolic isoforms. This is the first study to demonstrate PPIase-assisted folding of conotoxins, small disulfide-rich peptides with unique structural properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12735-12746
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2010

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