Ordered structure acquisition by the N- and C- terminal domains of the small proline-rich 3 protein

Eleonora Candi, Maurizio Paci, Sergio Oddi, Andrea Paradisi, Pietro Guerrieri, Gerry Melino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cell envelope (CE) is a vital structure for barrier function in terminally differentiated dead stratified squamous epithelia. It is assembled by transglutaminase (TGase) cross-linking of several proteins, including hSPR3 in certain specialized epithelia normally subjected to mechanical trauma. Biochemical studies show that hSPR3 serves as a complete substrate for TGase1, TGase2, and TGase3. Multiple adjacent glutamines and lysines of only head-and-tail domain sequences are used by each enzyme for cross- linking. Structural data suggest that the hSPR3 central repeats, as well as hSPR1 and hSPR 2, are highly flexible and mobile; thus, the TGases might not be able to recognize the residues localized on the repeats as adequate substrate. To investigate this hypothesis further and to complete the structural investigation of hSPR3, we performed circular dichroism (CD) studies on peptides corresponding to the N-and C-terminal domain. CD spectra have also been carried out in the presence of different concentrations of the structure-promoting agent cosolvent trifluoroethanol (TFF), which mimics a partial hydrophobic environment found in vivo in or next to the membrane. In fact, this agent increases the dielectric constant of water proportionally, depending on its concentration, and confers structuring properties to the solution, to peptides and proteins that have a structuring propensity. The results indicate that in both the N-terminal and C-terminal, peptides acquire a more ordered structure as a function of the TFE concentration in water. This ability of both N- and C-terminal domain to acquire a more stable ordered conformation might be relevant for SPR3 to act as substrate of TGases. Indeed, only the N- and C-terminus is cross-linked by TGase1 and 3. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-185
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Barrier function
  • Circular dichroism
  • Cornified envelope
  • Small proline-rich protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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