MACROPHAGE MIGRATION INHIBITORY FACTOR (MIF) WITH ALANINE INSERTED BETWEEN PRO-1 AND MET-2
[MIF_HUMAN] Genetic variations in MIF are associated with susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis systemic juvenile (RASJ) [MIM:604302]. An inflammatory articular disorder with systemic-onset beginning before the age of 16. It represents a subgroup of juvenile arthritis associated with severe extraarticular features and occasionally fatal complications. During active phases of the disorder, patients display a typical daily spiking fever, an evanescent macular rash, lymphadenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, serositis, myalgia and arthritis.
[MIF_HUMAN] Pro-inflammatory cytokine. Involved in the innate immune response to bacterial pathogens. The expression of MIF at sites of inflammation suggests a role as mediator in regulating the function of macrophages in host defense. Counteracts the anti-inflammatory activity of glucocorticoids. Has phenylpyruvate tautomerase and dopachrome tautomerase activity (in vitro), but the physiological substrate is not known. It is not clear whether the tautomerase activity has any physiological relevance, and whether it is important for cytokine activity. 
Publication Abstract from PubMed
Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is an important immunoregulatory molecule with a unique ability to suppress the anti-inflammatory effects of glucocorticoids. Although considered a cytokine, MIF possesses a three-dimensional structure and active site similar to those of 4-oxalocrotonate tautomerase and 5-carboxymethyl-2-hydroxymuconate isomerase. Moreover, a number of catalytic activities have been defined for MIF. To gain insight into the role of catalysis in the biological function of MIF, we have begun to characterize the catalytic activities in more detail. Here we report the crystal structure of MIF complexed with p-hydroxyphenylpyruvate, a substrate for the phenylpyruvate tautomerase activity of MIF. The three binding sites for p-hydroxyphenylpyruvate in the MIF trimer lie at the interface between two subunits. The substrate interacts with Pro-1, Lys-32, and Ile-64 from one subunit and Tyr-95 and Asn-97 from an adjacent subunit. Pro-1 is positioned to function as a catalytic base. There is no functional group that polarizes the alpha-carbonyl of the substrate to weaken the adjacent C-H bond. Mutation of Pro-1 to glycine substantially reduces the catalytic activity. The insertion of an alanine between Pro-1 and Met-2 essentially abolishes activity. Structural studies of these mutants define a source of the reduced activity and provide insight into the mechanism of the catalytic reaction.
Pro-1 of macrophage migration inhibitory factor functions as a catalytic base in the phenylpyruvate tautomerase activity.,Lubetsky JB, Swope M, Dealwis C, Blake P, Lolis E Biochemistry. 1999 Jun 1;38(22):7346-54. PMID:10353846
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.