Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 191–207

Gamma-carboxyglutamic acid

  • John P. Burnier
  • Marianne Borowski
  • Barbara C. Furie
  • Bruce Furie
Article

Summary

Gamma-carboxyglutamic acid is an amino acid with a dicarboxylic acid side chain. This amino acid, with unique metal binding properties, confers metal binding character to the proteins into which it is incorporated. This amino acid has been discovered in blood coagulation proteins (prothrombin, Factor X, Factor IX, and Factor VII), plasma proteins of unknown function (Protein C, Protein S, and Protein Z), and proteins from calcified tissue (osteocalcin and bone-Gla protein). It has also been observed in renal calculi, atherosclerotic plaque, and the egg chorioallantoic membrane, among other tissues. Gamma-carboxyglutamic acid is synthesized by the post-translational modification of glutamic acid residues. This reaction, catalyzed by a hepatic carboxylase, requires reduced vitamin K, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. The function of γ-carboxyglutamic acid is uncertain. In prothrombin y-carboxyglutamic acid residues bound to metal ions participate as an intramolecular non-covalent bridge to maintain protein conformation. Additionally, these amino acids participate in the calcium-dependent molecular assembly of proteins on membrane surfaces through intermolecular bridges involving y-carboxyglutamic acid and metal ions.

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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk Publishers 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • John P. Burnier
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Marianne Borowski
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Barbara C. Furie
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Bruce Furie
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Dept. of MedicineDivision of Hematology-OncologyBostonUSA
  2. 2.Dept. of Biochemistry and PharmacologyTufts-New England Medical CenterBostonUSA
  3. 3.Tufts University School of MedicineBostonU.S.A.

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