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Selective molybdate-directed covalent modification of sulfhydryl groups in the steroid-binding versus the DNA-binding domain of the glucocorticoid receptor

Selective molybdate-directed covalent modification of sulfhydryl groups in the steroid-binding versus the DNA-binding domain of the glucocorticoid receptor

Journal of Biological Chemistry 265(20): 11643-11649

ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9258

PMID: 2365690

Hydrogen peroxide produces all of the effects on glucocorticoid receptors that are produced by molybdate, including stabilization of the receptor 90-kDa heat shock protein (hsp90) complex (Tienrungroj, W., Meshinchi, S., Sanchez, E. R., Pratt, S. E., Grippo, J. F., Holmgren, A., and Pratt, W. B. (1987) J. Biol. Chem. 262, 6992-7000). When the glucocorticoid receptor is exposed simultaneously to molybdate and peroxide at concentrations that are optimal for receptor stabilization if each agent is present alone, there is an irreversible loss of steroid binding activity. The effect is accompanied by a covalent modification of the receptor, which is demonstrated by an increase in its apparent Mr on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Preincubation of the receptor with the sulfhydryl-modifying reagents methyl methanethiosulfonate or N-ethylmaleimide prevents covalent modification, suggesting that cysteine moieties are the site of attack. The covalently modified receptor can still bind to DNA. Molybdate-peroxide treatment does not covalently modify the 15-kDa tryptic fragment containing the DNA-binding domain and 11 of the 20 cysteine moieties in the receptor. However, the 27-kDa tryptic fragment, which contains the steroid-binding domain and 5 cysteines, is covalently modified. The 27-kDa tryptic fragment is covalently modified by the molybdate-peroxide combination when [3H]dexamethasone 21-mesylate is covalently bound to Cys-644. This leaves some combination of 4 cysteines in the steroid-binding domain (628, 649, 671, and 742) as the modified groups. These modifications occur in a region of the receptor that is known to contain its sites of interaction with both hsp90 and molybdate, with the latter having a well-established avidity for sulfur. These observations raise the possibility that the covalent modification caused by the molybdate-peroxide combination represents a modification of sulfur ligands involved in molybdate stabilization of the receptor.

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