Paraoxonase (PON1) is a serum esterase exclusively associated with high-density lipoproteins; it might confer protection against coronary artery disease by destroying pro-inflammatory oxidized lipids in oxidized low-density lipoproteins. Here I show that rabbit liver microsomes contain a PON analogue (MsPON) and report the isolation and complete covalent structure of MsPON. In detergent-solubilized microsomes, MsPON co-purifies with the microsomal triacylglycerol transfer protein (MTP) complex. MsPON was separated from the complex and purified to homogeneity under non-denaturing conditions. Automated sequence analysis of intact MsPON and peptides obtained from enzymic and chemical cleavages led to the elucidation of the complete covalent structure of MsPON. The protein is a single polypeptide consisting of 350 residues. The sequence of rabbit liver microsomal MsPON is 60% identical with that of rabbit serum PON1, and 84% identical with the sequence predicted by a human cDNA of unknown function, designated PON3. MsPON has a hydrophobic segment at the N-terminus that might serve to anchor the protein to the microsomal membrane or to the MTP complex. Unlike in the serum enzyme, two potential N-glycan acceptor sites in MsPON are not glycosylated. An absence of N-glycans was also indicated in the rabbit liver MTP. MsPON has a single free cysteine residue at position 38 and a disulphide bond between Cys-279 and Cys-348. The microsomal enzyme lacks three residues at the N-terminus that are present in the serum protein. MsPON lacks four residues at the C-terminus that are present in the rabbit serum protein but absent from human serum PON1. On the basis of the observation that MsPON displays a high degree of similarity with serum PON1, it is proposed that MsPON might have a function related to that of PON1 in serum high-density lipoprotein complexes.

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