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

Asparaginyl endopeptidase (VmPE-1) and autocatalytic processing synergistically activate the vacuolar cysteine proteinase (SH-EP).

A vacuolar cysteine proteinase, designated SH-EP, is synthesized in cotyledons of germinated Vigna mungo seeds and is responsible for degradation of the seed proteins accumulated in protein bodies (protein storage vacuoles). SH-EP belongs to the papain proteinase family and has a large N-terminal prosegment consisting of 104 amino acid residues and a C-terminal prosegment of 10 amino acid residues. It has been suggested that an asparaginyl endopeptidase, V. mungo processing enzyme 1 (VmPE-1), is involved in the N-terminal post-translational processing of SH-EP. The recombinant proform of SH-EP (rSH-EP) was produced in Escherichia coli cells, purified to homogeneity and refolded by stepwise dialysis. 31P-NMR analysis of intact germinated cotyledons revealed that the vacuolar pH of cotyledonary cells changes from 6.04 to 5.47 during seed germination and early seedling growth. rSH-EP was converted in vitro to the mature form through autocatalytic processing at a pH mimicking the vacuolar pH at the mid and late stages of seed germination, but not at the pH of the early stage. VmPE-1 accelerated the rate of processing of rSH-EP in vitro at the pH equivalent to the vacuolar pH at the early and mid stages of germination. In addition, the cleavage sites of the in vitro processed intermediates and the mature form of SH-EP were identical to those of SH-EP purified from germinated cotyledons of V. mungo. We propose that the asparaginyl endopeptidase (VmPE-1)-mediated processing mainly functions in the activation of proSH-EP at the early stage of seed germination, and both VmPE-1-mediated and autocatalytic processings function synergistically in the activation of proSH-EP in cotyledons at the mid and late stages.[1]


  1. Asparaginyl endopeptidase (VmPE-1) and autocatalytic processing synergistically activate the vacuolar cysteine proteinase (SH-EP). Okamoto, T., Yuki, A., Mitsuhashi, N., Minamikawa, T., Mimamikawa, T. Eur. J. Biochem. (1999) [Pubmed]
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