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Communication | Special issue | Vol 5, No. 1, 1976, pp.347-353
Published online, 1st January, 1970
DOI: 10.3987/S-1976-01-0347
β-Lactones as Reagents in Protein Chemsitry. The Inactivation of Pepsin with β-Propiolactone

Richard N. Armstrong and Emil Thomas Kaiser*

*Departments of Biochemistry and Chemistry, University of Chocago, Chocago, Illinois 60637, U.S.A.

Abstract

Treatment of pepsin with β-propiolactone results in the alkylation of 1-2 methionine residues and the esterification of an aspartate residue. The modified enzyme is characterized by a marked (20-fold) decrease in catalytic efficiency toward benzyloxycarbonyl-histidyl-p-nitrophenyl-alanyl-phenylalanyl methyl ester. The results suggest that the aspartate alkylated is in the active site.