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Substrate specificity determinants in the farnesyltransferase beta-subunit.

Trueblood C.E., Boyartchuk V.L., Rine J.

Protein prenyltransferases catalyze the covalent attachment of isoprenoid lipids (farnesyl or geranylgeranyl) to a cysteine near the C terminus of their substrates. This study explored the specificity determinants for interactions between the farnesyltransferase of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its protein substrates. A series of substitutions at amino acid 149 of the farnesyltransferase beta-subunit were tested in combination with a series of substitutions at the C-terminal amino acid of CaaX protein substrates Ras2p and a-factor. Efficient prenylation was observed when oppositely charged amino acids were present at amino acid 149 of the yeast farnesyltransferase beta-subunit and the C-terminal amino acid of the CaaX protein substrate, but not when like charges were present at these positions. This evidence for electrostatic interaction between amino acid 149 and the C-terminal amino acid of CaaX protein substrates leads to the prediction that the C-terminal amino acid of the protein substrate binds near amino acid 149 of the yeast farnesyltransferase beta-subunit.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 94:10774-10779(1997) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]