Polyproline-rich peptides associated with Torpedo californica acetylcholinesterase tetramers

Lilly Toker, Israel Silman, Tzviya Zeev-Ben-Mordehai, Joel L. Sussman, Lawrence M. Schopfer, Oksana Lockridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) terminates cholinergic neurotransmission by hydrolyzing acetylcholine. The collagen-tailed AChE tetramer is a product of 2 genes, ACHE and ColQ. The AChE tetramer consists of 4 identical AChE subunits and one polyproline-rich peptide, whose function is to hold the 4 AChE subunits together. Our goal was to determine the amino acid sequence of the polyproline-rich peptide(s) in Torpedo californica AChE (TcAChE) tetramers to aid in the analysis of images that will be acquired by cryo-EM. Collagen-tailed AChE was solubilized from Torpedo californica electric organ, converted to 300 kDa tetramers by digestion with trypsin, and purified by affinity chromatography. Polyproline-rich peptides were released by denaturing the TcAChE tetramers in a boiling water bath, and reducing disulfide bonds with dithiothreitol. Carbamidomethylated peptides were separated from TcAChE protein on a spin filter before they were analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry on a high resolution Orbitrap Fusion Lumos mass spectrometer. Of the 64 identified collagen-tail (ColQ) peptides, 60 were from the polyproline-rich region near the N-terminus of ColQ. The most abundant proline-rich peptides were SVNKCCLLTPPPPPMFPPPFFTETNILQE, at 40% of total mass-spectral signal intensity, and SVNKCCLLTPPPPPMFPPPFFTETNILQEVDLNNLPLEIKPTEPSCK, at 27% of total intensity. The high abundance of these 2 peptides makes them candidates for the principal form of the polyproline-rich peptide in the trypsin-treated TcAChE tetramers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109007
JournalChemico-Biological Interactions
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Mass spectrometry
  • Polyproline
  • Tetramer
  • Torpedo californica acetylcholinesterase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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