Study on structure-property-reactivity-function relationship of human neuronal growth inhibitory factor (hGIF)

J Inorg Biochem. 2008 Nov;102(11):1965-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2008.07.007. Epub 2008 Jul 26.


Human metallothionein-3 (hMT3), also named as human neuronal growth inhibitory factor (hGIF), can inhibit the outgrowth of embryonic cortical neurons in the presence of brain extracts. In order to systematically study the structure-property-reactivity-function relationship of hGIF, our laboratory designed a series of mutants and studied their structure, property, reactivity and functions by a series of chemical and biological tools including UV spectroscopy, CD spectroscopy, NMR, chemical reaction and primary neuronal culture assays. In summary, we concluded that the bioactivity of hGIF was regulated by multiple factors, including the (6)CPCP(9) motif, an additional threonine insert at sequence position 5, domain-domain interactions, the structure and stability of the metal-thiolate cluster and the linker. Our studies provide more and more evidences which revealed that the bioactivity of hGIF is mainly related to the essential metal release and its characteristic conformation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Catalytic Domain
  • Circular Dichroism
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Humans
  • Metallothionein 3
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / chemistry*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Threonine / chemistry
  • Threonine / genetics


  • Metallothionein 3
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Threonine