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

A novel thermostable membrane protease forming an operon with a stomatin homolog from the hyperthermophilic archaebacterium Pyrococcus horikoshii.

Membrane-bound proteases play several important roles in protein quality control and regulation. In the genome of the hyperthermophilic archaebacterium Pyrococcus horikoshii, the open reading frames PH1510 and PH1511 are homologous to the genes nfed (nodulation formation efficiency D) and stomatin, respectively, and probably form an operon. The nfed proteins are putative membrane proteins, and the N-terminal region shows homology to ClpP-type serine proteases. Stomatin is one of the major integral membrane proteins of human erythrocytes, and its absence is associated with the hemolytic anemia known as hereditary stomatocytosis. Thus, the N-terminal region of PH1510 (1510-N, residues 16-236) was expressed and purified. From activity staining and SDS-PAGE analysis using fluorescein isothiocyanate-casein, 1510-N was identified as a thermostable endo-type protease. From site-directed mutagenesis, the conserved Ser-97 and Lys-138 are involved in proteolysis and, therefore, PH1510 is probably a serine protease with a catalytic Ser-Lys dyad. The sites of cleavage by 1510-N are rich in hydrophobic residues. The site P1 (position -1 relative to the cleavage site) is mainly leucine. P4 and P4' are mainly hydrophobic residues. Interestingly, the 1510-N protease cleaves the C-terminal hydrophobic region of PH1511. From this result and the probability of an operon, PH1510 probably functions in cooperation with PH1511. It is hypothesized that the cleavage of the stomatin-homolog PH1511 by the PH1510 protease causes an ion channel to open.[1]


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