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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Activity in monomers of human cytomegalovirus protease.

Herpesvirus proteases require dimerization for activity, although crystallographic data indicate that each monomeric subunit possesses a well-separated and complete active site. This suggests that dimerization stabilizes the monomeric protease subunits in an active conformation. Chemical cross-linking with disuccinimidyl glutarate was used to capture human cytomegalovirus protease in its various conformations. The cross-linked protease retained activity under mildly chaotropic conditions (0.25 to 0.75 M urea) in contrast to non-cross-linked protease which lost activity. Identification of active protease species by incorporation of radioactive diisopropylfluorophosphate showed that in addition to cross-linked dimers, cross-linked protease monomers were responsible for a significant fraction of the total protease activity. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that herpesvirus protease activation occurs by stabilization of an active conformer in the dimer.[1]


  1. Activity in monomers of human cytomegalovirus protease. Holwerda, B. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (1999) [Pubmed]
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