Dec 15, 1989

Proteolytic conversion of xanthine dehydrogenase to xanthine oxidase: evidence against a role for calcium-activated protease (calpain)

Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
K StarkM Baudry


The present study tested the hypothesis that calpain is responsible for the limited proteolytic conversion of xanthine dehydrogenase (XD) to xanthine oxidase (XO). We compared the effects of various proteases on the activity and molecular weight of a purified preparation of xanthine dehydrogenase from rat liver. In agreement with previous reports, trypsin treatment produced a complete conversion of XD to XO accompanied by a limited proteolysis of XDH from an Mr of 140 kD to an Mr of 90 kD. Treatment with calpain I or calpain II did not produce a conversion from XD to XO nor did it result in partial proteolysis of the enzyme. Similarly, trypsin treatment partially degraded a reversibly oxidized form of xanthine dehydrogenase while calpain I or calpain II were ineffective. The possibility that an endogenous inhibitor prevented the proteolysis of XDH by calpain I or II was excluded by verifying that brain spectrin, a known calpain substrate, was degraded under the same incubation conditions. The results indicate that calpain is not likely to be responsible for the in vivo conversion of XD to XO under pathological conditions.

Mentioned in this Paper

Calpain II
Post-Translational Protein Processing
August Rats
Peptide Hydrolases
Xanthine Oxidase
Proteolytic Enzyme
Calpain I

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