Specific sequence motifs direct the oxygenation and chlorination of tryptophan by myeloperoxidase

Xiaoyun Fu, Yi Wang, Jeffery Kao, Angela Irwin, André D'Avignon, Robert P. Mecham, William C. Parks, Jay W. Heinecke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Most studies of protein oxidation have typically focused on the reactivity of single amino acid side chains while ignoring the potential importance of adjacent sequences in directing the reaction pathway. We previously showed that hypochlorous acid (HOCl), a specific product of myeloperoxidase, inactivates matrilysin by modifying adjacent tryptophan and glycine (WG) residues in the catalytic domain. Here, we use model peptides that mimic the region of matrilysin involved in this reaction, VVWGTA, VVWATA, and the library VVWXTA, to determine whether specific sequence motifs are targeted for chlorination or oxygenation by myeloperoxidase. Our results demonstrate that HOCl generated by myeloperoxidase or activated neutrophils converts the peptide VVWGTA to a chlorinated product, WG+32-(Cl). Tandem mass spectrometry in concert with high resolution 1H and two-dimensional NMR analysis revealed that the modification required cross-linking of the tryptophan to the amide of glycine followed by chlorination of the indole ring of tryptophan. In contrast, when glycine in the peptide was replaced with alanine, the major products were mono- and dioxygenated tryptophan residues. When the peptide library VVWXTA (where X represents all 20 common amino acids) was exposed to HOCl, only WG produced a high yield of the chloroindolenine derivative. However, when glycine was replaced by other amino acids, oxygenated tryptophan derivatives were the major products. Our observations indicate that WG may represent a specific sequence motif in proteins that is targeted for chlorination by myeloperoxidase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3961-3971
Number of pages11
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 28 2006


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