Sterol carrier protein-2 (SCP-2) is a small intracellular basic protein domain implicated in peroxisomal beta-oxidation. We extend our knowledge of plant SCP-2 by characterizing SCP-2 from Euphorbia lagascae. This protein consists of 122 amino acids including a PTS1 peroxisomal targeting signal. It has a molecular mass of 13.6 kDa and a pI of 9.5. It shares 67% identity and 84% similarity with SCP-2 from Arabidopsis thaliana. Proteomic analysis revealed that E. lagascae SCP-2 accumulates in the endosperm during seed germination. It showed in vitro transfer activity of BODIPY-phosphatidylcholine (BODIPY-PC). The transfer of BODIPY-PC was almost completely inhibited after addition of phosphatidylinositol, palmitic acid, stearoyl-CoA and vernolic acid, whereas sterols only had a very marginal inhibitory effect. We used protein modelling and site-directed mutagenesis to investigate why the BODIPY-PC transfer mediated by E. lagascae SCP-2 is not sensitive to sterols, whereas the transfer mediated by A. thaliana SCP-2 shows sterol sensitivity. Protein modelling suggested that the ligand-binding cavity of A. thaliana SCP-2 has four methionines (Met12, 14, 15 and 100), which are replaced by leucines (Leu11, 13, 14 and 99) in E. lagascae SCP-2. Changing Leu99 to Met99 was sufficient to convert E. lagascae SCP-2 into a sterol-sensitive BODIPY-PC-transfer protein, and correspondingly, changing Met100 to Leu100 abolished the sterol sensitivity of A. thaliana SCP-2.
- lipid transfer protein
- sterol carrier protein-2