Methylation of γ-carboxylated Glu (Gla) allows detection by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and the identification of Gla residues in the γ-glutamyl carboxylase.

Abstract

γ-Carboxylated Glu (Gla) is a post-translational modification required for the activity of vitamin K-dependent (VKD) proteins that has been difficult to study by mass spectrometry due to the properties of this negatively charged residue. Gla is generated by a single enzyme, the γ-glutamyl carboxylase, which has broad biological impact because VKD proteins have diverse functions that include hemostasis, apoptosis, and growth control. The carboxylase also contains Glas, of unknown function, and is an integral membrane protein with poor sequence coverage. To locate these Glas, we first established methods that resulted in high coverage (92%) of uncarboxylated carboxylase. Subsequent analysis of carboxylated carboxylase identified a Gla peptide (729-758) and a missing region (625-647) that was detected in uncarboxylated carboxylase. We therefore developed an approach to methylate Gla, which efficiently neutralized Gla and improved mass spectrometric analysis. Methylation eliminated CO2 loss from Gla, increased the ionization of Gla-containing peptide, and appeared to facilitate trypsin digestion. Methylation of a carboxylated carboxylase tryptic digest identified Glas in the 625-647 peptide. These studies provide valuable information for testing the function of carboxylase carboxylation. The methylation approach for studying Gla by mass spectrometry is an important advance that will be broadly applicable to analyzing other VKD proteins.

DOI: 10.1021/pr3003722

Cite this paper

@article{Hallgren2013MethylationO, title={Methylation of γ-carboxylated Glu (Gla) allows detection by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and the identification of Gla residues in the γ-glutamyl carboxylase.}, author={Kevin W. Hallgren and Dan-feng Zhang and Michael T. Kinter and Belinda B Willard and Kathleen L. Berkner}, journal={Journal of proteome research}, year={2013}, volume={12 6}, pages={2365-74} }