Ovine placental lactogen and ovine prolactin: Partial proteolysis and conformational stability

M. Laura Fernández, Gisela D. Cymes, Lucrecia M. Curto, Carlota Wolfenstein-Todel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The high-resolution structure of ovine placental lactogen (oPL) and ovine prolactin (oPRL), not yet established in detail, was probed by limited proteolysis with the Glu-specific protease from Staphylococcus aureus V8. While in hGH there were no cleavage sites inside of any of the four α- helices, the analysis of the fragments obtained after partial proteolysis of oPL showed a site of cleavage at the putative third helix, suggesting that this helix is partially unwound at this point. The partial proteolysis of the rest of the molecule was compatible with a similar folding pattern for oPL, hGH and pGH, on the basis of the crystal structure of these last hormones. In the case of oPRL, proteolytic cleavage occurred at Glu residues which would be located at the end of the first helix and the beginning of the second in the hGH folding model, suggesting that these helices are shorter in oPRL than in hGH. In order to gain further insight on the folding of these molecules, circular dichroism and intrinsic fluorescence measurements were used to examine the effect of denaturing conditions on oPL and oPRL. After exposure to 6 M guanidine the unfolding of both proteins was completely reversed upon elimination of the denaturing agent. In contrast, exposure to pH 3.0 caused an irreversible decrease in the α-helical content in both hormones, most striking for oPL, indicating that this hormone is less stable than oPRL or hGH. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-608
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Conformational stability
  • Ovine placental lactogen
  • Ovine prolactin
  • Partial proteolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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