Although the amino acid residues that are important for peptide substrates of myosin light-chain kinase have been reported, those that are important for peptide inhibitors of this enzyme have not previously been investigated. Synthetic peptides based on the sequence Lys11-Lys12-Arg13-Ala-Ala-Arg16-Ala-Thr-Ser19 -Asn-Val21-Phe22-Ala of the chicken gizzard myosin light chain were tested as inhibitors of pig carotid-artery myosin light-chain kinase. The basic amino acid residues of the known myosin light-chain kinase inhibitor Lys-Lys-Arg-Ala-Ala-Arg-Ala-Thr-Ser-NH2 (IC50 = 14 microM) [Pearson, Misconi & Kemp (1986) J. Biol. Chem. 261, 25-27] were shown to be the important residues that contribute to inhibitor potency, as evidence by the finding that the hexapeptide Lys-Lys-Arg-Ala-Ala-Arg-NH2 had an IC50 value of 22 microM. This indicates that binding of the phosphorylatable serine residue to myosin light-chain kinase, which is of obvious importance for a substrate, does not enhance the potency of an inhibitor. With the aim of preparing more potent inhibitors, peptides Lys-Lys-Arg-Ala-Ala-Arg-Ala-Ala-Xaa-NH2 were prepared with a variety of amino acids substituted for the phosphorylatable serine residue. None of these peptides was a more potent inhibitor than the serine peptide.
- © 1989 London: The Biochemical society