The hydrolysis of endothelins by neutral endopeptidase 24.11 (enkephalinase)

J. Vijayaraghavan, A. G. Scicli, O. A. Carretero, C. Slaughter, C. Moomaw, L. B. Hersh

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272 Scopus citations


Endothelins 1-3 are a family of 21-ammo acid peptides whose structure consists of two rings formedby intra-chain disulfide bonds and a linear "COOH-terminal tail." These peptides were originally described on the basis of their potent vasoconstrictor activity. The hydrolytic inactivation of endothelin action has recently been implicated to be attributed, at least in part, to the enzyme neutral endopeptidase 24.11 (Scicli A. G., Vijayaraghavan, J., Hersh, L., and Carretero, O. (1989) Hypertension 14, 353). The kinetic properties and mode of hydrolysis of the endothelins by this enzyme are reported in this study. The Km for endothelins 1 and 3 hydrolysis is approximately 2 μM while endothelin2 exhibits a 5-fold higher Km. Endothelins 1 and 2 exhibit similar Vmax values while endothelin3 is hydrolyzed considerably more slowly. The initial cleavage site in endothelin1 is at the Ser5-Leu6 bond located within one of the cyclic structures. Thermolysin, a bacterial neutral endopeptidase with a similar substrate specificity to neutral endopeptidase 24.11 initially cleaves endothelin1 between His16-Leu17 which lies within the COOH-termmal linear "tail" portion of the molecule. The cleavage of endothelins 2 and 3 by neutral endopeptidase 24.11 differs from that observed with endothelin1 in that cleavage of these endothelins occurs at Asp18-Ile19 within the linear COOH-terminal tail structure. These results demonstrate that the endothelins are good substrates for neutral endopeptidase 24.11 and suggest that their mode of cleavage is dependent upon both amino acid sequence as well as peptide conformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14150-14155
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number24
StatePublished - Aug 25 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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