The Lin12-Notch repeats of pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A bind calcium and determine its proteolytic specificity

Henning B. Boldt, Kasper Kjaer-Sorensen, Michael T. Overgaard, Kathrin Weyer, Christine B. Poulsen, Lars Sottrup-Jensen, Cheryl A. Conover, Linda C. Giudice, Claus Oxvig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The Lin12-Notch repeat (LNR) module of about 35 residues is a hallmark of the Notch receptor family. Three copies, arranged in tandem, are invariably present in the extracellular portion of the Notch receptors. Although their function is unknown, genetic and biochemical data indicate that the LNR modules participate in the regulation of ligand-induced proteolytic cleavage of the Notch receptor, a prerequisite to intramembrane cleavage and Notch signaling. Outside the Notch receptor family, the LNR module is present only in the metalloproteinase pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) and its homologue PAPP-A2, which also contain three copies. Curiously, LNR modules 1 and 2 are present within the proteolytic domain of PAPP-A/A2, but LNR3 is separated from LNR2 by more than 1000 amino acids. The growth factor antagonists insulin-like growth factor-binding protein (IGFBP)-4 and -5 are both substrates of PAPP-A. We provide here evidence that the PAPP-A LNR modules function together to determine the proteolytic specificity of PAPP-A. Analysis of C-terminally truncated PAPP-A mutants followed by the analysis of LNR deletion mutants demonstrated that each of the three PAPP-A LNR modules is strictly required for proteolytic activity against IGFBP-4 but not for proteolytic activity against IGFBP-5. Individual substitution of conserved LNR residues predicted to participate in calcium coordination caused elimination (D341A, D356A, D389A, D1484A, D1499A, and D1502A) or a significant reduction (D359A and E392A) of IGFBP-4 proteolysis, whereas IGFBP-5 proteolysis was unaffected. The activity of the latter mutants against IGFBP-4 could be partially rescued by calcium, and the addition of the calcium-binding protein calbindin D9k to wild-type PAPP-A eliminated activity against IGFBP-4 but not against IGFBP-5, demonstrating that the PAPP-A LNR modules bind calcium ions. We propose a model in which LNR3 is spatially localized in proximity to LNR1 and -2, forming a single functional unit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38525-38531
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number37
StatePublished - Sep 10 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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