- Manolopoulou M, Guo Q, Malito E, Schilling AB, Tang WJ
- Molecular basis of catalytic chamber-assisted unfolding and cleavage of human insulin by human insulin-degrading enzyme.
- J Biol Chem. 2009 May 22;284(21):14177-88. Epub 2009 Mar 25.
- Insulin is a hormone vital for glucose homeostasis, and insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) plays a key role in its clearance. IDE exhibits a remarkable specificity to degrade insulin without breaking the disulfide bonds that hold the insulin A and B chains together. Using Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometry to obtain high mass accuracy, and electron capture dissociation (ECD) to selectively break the disulfide bonds in gas phase fragmentation, we determined the cleavage sites and composition of human insulin fragments generated by human IDE. Our time-dependent analysis of IDE-digested insulin fragments reveals that IDE is highly processive in its initial cleavage at the middle of both the insulin A and B chains. This ensures that IDE effectively splits insulin into inactive N- and C-terminal halves without breaking the disulfide bonds. To understand the molecular basis of the recognition and unfolding of insulin by IDE, we determined a 2.6-A resolution insulin-bound IDE structure. Our structure reveals that IDE forms an enclosed catalytic chamber that completely engulfs and intimately interacts with a partially unfolded insulin molecule. This structure also highlights how the unique size, shape, charge distribution, and exosite of the IDE catalytic chamber contribute to its high affinity ( approximately 100 nm) for insulin. In addition, this structure shows how IDE utilizes the interaction of its exosite with the N terminus of the insulin A chain as well as other properties of the catalytic chamber to guide the unfolding of insulin and allowing for the processive cleavages.