Tetramer-organizing polyproline-rich peptides differ in CHO cell-expressed and plasma-derived human butyrylcholinesterase tetramers

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11 Scopus citations


Tetrameric butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) in human plasma is the product of multiple genes, namely one BCHE gene on chromosome 3q26.1 and multiple genes that encode polyproline-rich peptides. The function of the polyproline-rich peptides is to assemble BChE into tetramers. CHO cells transfected with human BChE cDNA express BChE monomers and dimers, but only low quantities of tetramers. Our goal was to identify the polyproline-rich peptides in CHO-cell derived human BChE tetramers. CHO cell-produced human BChE tetramers were purified from serum-free culture medium. Peptides embedded in the tetramerization domain were released from BChE tetramers by boiling and identified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. A total of 270 proline-rich peptides were sequenced, ranging in size from 6-41 residues. The peptides originated from 60 different proteins that reside in multiple cell compartments including the nucleus, cytoplasm, and endoplasmic reticulum. No single protein was the source of the polyproline-rich peptides in CHO cell-expressed human BChE tetramers. In contrast, 70% of the tetramer-organizing peptides in plasma-derived BChE tetramers originate from lamellipodin. No protein source was identified for polyproline peptides containing up to 41 consecutive proline residues. In conclusion, the use of polyproline-rich peptides as a tetramerization motif is documented only for the cholinesterases, but is expected to serve other tetrameric proteins as well. The CHO cell data suggest that the BChE tetramer-organizing peptide can arise from a variety of proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)706-714
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • CHO cells
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Polyproline
  • Recombinant butyrylcholinesterase
  • Tetramer-organizing peptide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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