γ-Glutamyl transpeptidase has been purified to homogeneity from WI-38 human fetal lung fibroblasts, following extraction with Triton X-100 in the absence of added proteases. The specific activity of the purified enzyme is 16 units/mg protein at the optimum of pH 8.0. Although this activity value is low, the WI-38 enzyme is very similar to previously described γ-glutamyl transpeptidases in its molecular properties. The native molecule (apparent molecular weight of 82,000) is composed of one light and one heavy subunit (apparent molecular weights of 20,000 and 62,000, respectively). Papain digestion reduces the native molecular weight to an apparent value of 73,000 by proteolysis of the heavy chain. The known active site modifying agent and glutamine analog 6-diazo-5-oxo-l-nor-leucine, completely inactivates the enzyme, coincident with its stoichiometric incorporation into the light subunit. This inactivation is accelerated by maleate and prevented by S-methylglutathione. The WI-38 γ-glutamyl transpeptidase is also inactivated by the fluorescent alkylating agent, 5-iodoacetamidofluorescein. Selective reaction of this reagent with an active site residue is suggested by prevention of the inactivation by S-methylglutathione, the stoichiometric incorporation of the fluorescein moiety, and the loss of one methionine residue per molecule of protein accompanying inactivation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology