Systematic mutational analysis of the receptor-binding region of the human urokinase-type plasminogen activator

Viktor Magdolen, Peter Rettenberger, Marcus Koppitz, Lothar Goretzki, Horst Kessler, Ulrich H. Weidle, Bernhard König, Henner Graeff, Manfred Schmitt, Olaf Wilhelm

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung

70 Zitate (Scopus)


The amino-terminal fragment of human uPA (ATF; amino acids 1-135), which contains the binding site for the uPA receptor (uPAR, CD87) was expressed in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Recombinant yeast ATF modified and extended by an amino-terminal in-frame insertion of a His6 tract, was purified from total protein extracts by nickel chelate affinity chromatography and shown to be functionally active since it efficiently competes with uPA for binding to cell-surface-associated uPAR. The ATF expression plasmid served as a template for the construction of a series of site-directed mutants in order to define those amino acids that are important for binding to uPAR. All mutant ATF proteins but one (deletion of Ser26) were expressed in a stable form (about 20-30 ng/mg total protein) and the binding capacity of each mutant was tested by a uPA-ligand binding assay employing recombinant uPAR immobilized to a microtiter plate. Each of the 11 amino acids of loop B of the binding region of uPA (amino acids 20-30) were individually substituted with alanine. Lys23, Tyr24, Phe25, Ile28, and Trp30 were important determinants for uPAR binding. A systematic alanine scan was also performed with chemically synthesized linear peptides spanning amino acids 14-32 of ATF Comparable results to those with the yeast ATF mutants were obtained. In a different set of experiments, those amino acids of the uPAR-binding region of uPA that are only conserved between man and baboon but not in other species were altered: whereas substitution of Thr18 by alanine or Asn32 by serine had hardly any effect, replacement of Asn22 by tyrosine and Trp30 by arginine (both positions are strictly conserved in other mammals) led to ATF variants incapable of interacting with human uPAR. Deletion of either Va120, Ser21, Lys23, His29 or Va120 plus Ser21, respectively, also generated non-reactive ATF mutants. Finally, Lys23 in ATF was substituted with certain amino acids: whereas the replacement of Lys23 by alanine, histidine or glutamine generated ATF variants with moderate uPAR-binding activity, the introduction of a negatively charged amino acid (exchange of Lys23 by glutamic acid) completely abolished uPAR-binding activity. The results presented for the ATF mutants and uPA-derived peptides may provide clues necessary to establish the nature of the physical interaction of uPA with its receptor and may help to develop uPA-derived peptide analogues as potential therapeutic agents to block tumor cell-associated uPA/uPAR interaction.

Seiten (von - bis)743-751
FachzeitschriftEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1996


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