Carboxamidopeptidase: purification and characterization of a neurohypophyseal hormone inactivating peptidase from toad skin

Biochemistry. 1980 Jan 8;19(1):39-48. doi: 10.1021/bi00542a007.


Carboxamidopeptidase, an enzyme which inactivates neurohypophyseal hormones, has been purified 3800-fold in an overall yield of 22% from toad skin, a neurohypophyseal hormone target organ, by (NH4)2SO4 fractionation, DEAE-Sephadex chromatography, and affinity chromatography on immobilized p-aminobenzamidine and concanavalin A-agrose. The purified enzyme is capable of inactivating both [8-arginine]vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin by hydrolyzing the Arg8-Gly9-NH2 and the Leu8-Gly9-NH2 bonds, respectively, and can hydrolyze the ester substrates, benzoyl-L-arginine ethyl ester (BzArgOEt) and acetyl-L-trypsine ethyl ester, suggesting that the enzyme has both trypsin-like and chymotrypsin-like activities. Carboxamidopeptidase is maximally active at pH 7.5-8.5 for AVP and BzArgOEt and pH 7.0 for oxytocin. Carboxamidopeptidase is inhibited by ovoinhibitor, ovomucoid, Trasylol. lima bean trypsin inhibitor, concanavalin A, antipain, leupeptin, chymostatin, elastatinal, p-nitrophenyl p-guanidinobenzoate, and 4-methylumbelliferyl p-guanidinobenzoate but not by soybean trypsin inhibitor, alpha 1-antitrypsin, hirudin, pepstatin, bestatin, phosphoramidon, or cysteine. The enzyme is also inhibited by the serine protease inhibitor, diisopropyl phosphofluoridate (i-Pr2PF), and by the chloromethyl ketone derivatives of tosyllysine, tosylphenylalanine, and (benzyloxycarbonyl)phenylalanine, as well as by the sulfhydryl group reagent, p-(chloromercuri)benzoate (PCMB). Inhibition by PCMB is reversed by cysteine. The molecular weight determined by gel filtration in the presence of 1 MNaCl is approximately 100 000. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis indicates that the enzyme is composed of two identical subunits of 48 000 daltons. Each subunit consists of a heavy chain (28 000 daltons) and a light chain (19 000 daltons) joined by a disulfide bond(s). Labeling experiments using [3H]-i-Pr2PF showed that the enzyme active site is located in the heavy chain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arginine Vasopressin*
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Bufo marinus
  • Endopeptidases / isolation & purification
  • Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kinetics
  • Oxytocin*
  • Protease Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Skin / enzymology*
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Temperature


  • Protease Inhibitors
  • Arginine Vasopressin
  • Oxytocin
  • Endopeptidases