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Regulatory Peptides





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A novel, non-AT1, non-AT2 brain binding site for angiotensin peptides that is unmasked by p-chloromercuribenzoate (PCMB) has been identified as a membrane associated variant of neurolysin. The ability of different organic and inorganic oxidative and sulfhydryl reactive agents to unmask or inhibit 125I-Sar1Ile8 angiotensin II (SI-Ang II) binding to this site was presently examined. In tissue membranes from homogenates of rat brain and testis incubated in assay buffer containing losartan (10 μM) and PD123319 (10 μM) plus 100 μM PCMB, 5 of the 39 compounds tested inhibited 125I-SI Ang II binding in brain and testis. Mersalyl acid, mercuric chloride (HgCl2) and silver nitrate (AgNO3) most potently inhibited 125I-SI Ang II binding with IC50s ~1-20 μM. This HgCl2 inhibition was independent of any interaction of HgCl2 with angiotensin II (Ang II) based on the lack of effect of HgCl2 on the dipsogenic effects of intracerebroventricularly administered Ang II and 125I-SI Ang II binding to AT1 receptors in the liver. Among sulfhydryl reagents, cysteamine and reduced glutathione (GSH), but not oxidized glutathione (GSSG) up to 1mM, inhibited PCMB-unmasked 125I-SI Ang II binding in brain and testis. Thimerosal and 4-hydroxymercuribenzoate moderately inhibited PCMB-unmasked 125I-SI Ang II binding in brain and testis at 100 μM; however, they also unmasked non-AT1, non-AT2 binding independent of PCMB. 4-Hydroxybenzoic acid did not promote 125 I-SI Ang II binding to this binding site indicating that only specific organomercurial compounds can unmask the binding site. The common denominator for all of these interacting substances is the ability to bind to protein cysteine sulfur. Comparison of cysteines between neurolysin and the closely related enzyme thimet oligopeptidase revealed an unconserved cysteine (cys650, based on the full length variant) in the proposed ligand binding channel (Brown et al., 2001) [45] near the active site of neurolysin. It is proposed that the mercuric ion in PCMB and closely related organomercurial compounds binds to cys650, while the acidic anion forms an ionic bond with a nearby arginine or lysine along the channel to effect a conformational change in neurolysin that promotes Ang II binding.





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