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Tricorn protease in bacteria: Characterization of the enzyme from Streptomyces coelicolor

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Tamura, N., Pfeifer, G., Baumeister, W., & Tamura, T. (2001). Tricorn protease in bacteria: Characterization of the enzyme from Streptomyces coelicolor. Biological Chemistry, 382(3), 449-458.

Tricorn protease is believed to act downstream of the proteasome, or of other ATP-dependent proteases, cleaving the oligopeptides (mostly 6 to 12 residues) released by them into small peptides (2 to 4 residues), before an array of aminopeptidases finally converts them into free amino acids. Hitherto, the occurrence of Tricorn protease seemed to be limited to some archaea, but genes encoding Tricorn homologs have now been found in several bacterial genomes, Among them is Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2), which has, in fact, two Tricorn-like genes, ScC77,16c and ScE87.19. The proteins encoded by them (TRI-ScC77 and TRI-ScE87) are very similar in their PDZ and TSP domains, but rather divergent in their beta -propeller domains. We have expressed one of them, TRI-ScC77, in E, coli and characterized the recombinant protein structurally and functionally. TRI-ScC77 forms a homohexameric complex of approximately 700 kDa, both in E. coli and in S, coelicolor, with enzymatic properties very similar to the complex from the archaeon Thermoplasma acidophilum. The fact that Tricorn-like proteins exist not only in thermoacidophiles, but also in bacteria inhabiting radically different environments, rules out the possibility that Tricorn protease is an adaptive element that helps to meet the challenges of an extreme habitat. [References: 32]