Substrate specificity of human carboxypeptidase A6

Peter J. Lyons, Lloyd D. Fricker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Carboxypeptidase A6 (CPA6) is an extracellular matrix-bound metallocarboxypeptidase (CP) that has been implicated in Duane syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder in which the lateral rectus extraocular muscle is not properly innervated. Consistent with a role in Duane syndrome, CPA6 is expressed in a number of chondrocytic and nervous tissues during embryogenesis. To better characterize the enzymatic function and specificity of CPA6 and to compare this with other CPs, CPA6 was expressed in HEK293 cells and purified. Kinetic parameters were determined using a panel of synthetic carboxypeptidase substrates, indicating a preference of CPA6 for large hydrophobic C-terminal amino acids and only very weak activity toward small amino acids and histidine. A quantitative peptidomics approach using a mixture of peptides representative of the neuropeptidome allowed the characterization of CPA6 preferences at the P1 substrate position and suggested that small and acidic P1 residues significantly inhibit CPA6 cleavage. Finally, a comparison of available kinetic data for CPA enzymes shows a gradient of specificity across the subfamily, from the very restricted specificity of CPA2 to the very broad activity of CPA4. Structural data and modeling for all CPA/B subfamily members suggests the structural basis for the unique specificities observed for each member of the CPA/B subfamily of metallocarboxypeptidases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38234-38242
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number49
StatePublished - Dec 3 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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