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Pure Appl. Chem., 2006, Vol. 78, No. 5, pp. 985-992

Novel function of calreticulin: Characterization of calreticulin as a transacetylase-mediating protein acetylator independent of acetyl CoA using polyphenolic acetates

Hanumantharao G. Raj1, Ranju Kumari1, Seema1, Garima Gupta1, Rajesh Kumar2,3, Daman Saluja4, Kambadoor M. Muralidhar5, Ajit Kumar1, Bilikere S. Dwarkanath6, Ramesh C. Rastogi2, Ashok K. Prasad2, Shamkant A. Patkar7, Arthur C. Watterson3 and Virinder S. Parmar2,3

1 V. P. Chest Institute, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007, India
2 Chemistry Department, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007, India
3 INSET, Department of Chemistry, University of Massachusetts, 1 University Avenue, Lowell, MA 01854, USA
4 Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Center for Biomedical Research, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007, India
5 Zoology Department, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007, India
6 Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Lucknow Road, Delhi-110054, India
7 Department of Protein Biochemistry and Enzyme Design, Novozymes A/S, Smormosvej 25, DK 2880, Bagsvaerd, Denmark

Abstract: Our earlier investigations culminated in the discovery of a unique membrane-bound enzyme in mammalian cells catalyzing the transfer of acetyl group from polyphenolic acetates (PAs) to certain functional proteins, resulting in the modulation of their activities. This enzyme was termed acetoxy drug:protein transacetylase (TAase) since it acted upon several classes of PAs. TAase was purified from rat liver microsomes to homogeneity and exhibited the molecular weight of 55 KDa. TAase-catalyzed protein acetylation by PAs was evidenced by the demonstration of immunoreactivity of the acetylated target protein such as nitric oxide synthase (NOS) with anti-acetyl lysine. The possible acetylation of human platelet NOS by PA as described above resulted in the enhancement of intracellular levels of nitric oxide (NO). PAs unlike the parent polyphenols were found to exhibit NO-related physiological effects. The N-terminal sequence was found to show 100 % homology with N-terminal sequence of mature calreticulin (CRT). The identity of TAase with CRT, an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) protein, was evidenced by the demonstration of the properties of CRT such as immunoreactivity with anti-calreticulin, binding to Ca2+ ions and being substrate for phosphorylation by protein kinase c (PKC), which are the hallmark characteristics of CRT. These observations for the first time convincingly attribute the transacetylase function to CRT, which possibly plays an important role in protein modification by way of carrying out acetylation of various enzymes through a biochemical mechanism independent of acetyl CoA.