Discovery of a pyruvylated peptide-metabolizing enzyme using a fluorescent substrate-based protein discovery technique†
We employed a fluorescent substrate-based target discovery approach to screen the enzymome for metabolic activity towards pyruvyl-amidated peptides, and identified an acylamino acid-releasing enzyme (APEH). Cells overexpressing APEH exhibited higher metabolic activity towards the probe, N-pyruvyl-leucyl-7-amido-4-methylcoumarin (Pyr-Leu-AMC), while the selective APEH inhibitor AA74-1 blocked the reaction. Metabolism of various pyruvylated peptides in liver lysate was almost completely blocked by AA74-1. Pyruvyl peptides are synthesized in response to oxidative stress, but their biological role is poorly understood; identification of a key contributor to their metabolism should stimulate research on pathways leading from oxidative stress to protein modification and biological output.