Soluble extracts of cultured cells (BHK 21 C13) degraded a variety of exogenous proteins to acid-soluble peptides at pH 8.0. ATP stimulated this proteolytic activity up to 10-fold. The ATP effect was dependent on Mg2+ and was not elicited by nonhydrolyzable analogs of ATP. After the extract was fractionated on DEAE-cellulose, ATP-stimulated protease activity was in the fraction that bound to the resin and eluted in buffer containing 0.4 m NaCl. This activity had characteristics that were indistinguishable from those of the unfractionated extract but the degree of ATP stimulation was two- to three-fold lower. Although no protease activity was detected in the unbound fraction, reconstitution of this material with the bound fraction enhanced the ATP stimulation up to twofold. The component responsible for the enhancement of the ATP stimulation had properties similar to ubiquitin and purified ubiquitin enhanced the ATP-stimulated protease activity in the fractionated extract. Substrates whose amino groups were almost completely blocked by various chemical modifications were still degraded in an ATP-stimulated fashion, but the degradation of these substrates was not affected by ubiquitin. The protease activity isolated by ion-exchange chromatography was fractionated further by gel filtration chromatography on Sephacryl S-300. ATP-stimulated protease activity eluted with an apparent molecular weight of 750,000. Protease activity was enhanced up to eightfold by Mg2+-ATP but was not increased further by ubiquitin. An activity that hydrolyzed the synthetic peptide ZValLeuArgMNA coeluted with ATP-stimulated protease activity, but peptide hydrolysis was not affected by ATP. These and other catalytic and biochemical characteristics suggested that the protease might be related to the high-molecular-weight protease, macropain, recently purified by us from human erythrocytes (M. J. McGuire and G. N. DeMartino Biochim. Biophys. Acta (1986) 873, 279-289). Antibodies raised against macropain specifically reacted with proteins characteristic of macropain in the column fractions containing ATP-stimulated protease activity. These antibodies also specifically immunoprecipitated 70-100% of the ATP-stimulated protease activity as well as ZValLeuArgMNA hydrolyzing activity. Thus BHK cell extracts appear to contain both ubiquitin-mediated and ubiquitin-independent pathways for the ATP-stimulated degradation of proteins. Furthermore, at least one of these pathways appears to involve a high-molecular-weight, ATP-stimulated protease related to macropain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology