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

Human skin mast cell carboxypeptidase: functional characterization, cDNA cloning, and genealogy.

We functionally characterized human skin mast cell carboxypeptidase A (MC-CPA), and explored its evolutionary relationship to other carboxypeptidases to understand further the structural basis for the substrate preferences of this enzyme. Purified human skin MC-CPA displayed more activity than did bovine pancreatic carboxypeptidase A (CPA) against carboxyl-terminal leucine residues, about equal activity with phenylalanine and tyrosine residues, and no activity with tryptophan or alanine. To correlate kinetic data with structure, we isolated and sequenced a cDNA encoding MC-CPA from human skin, and directly sequenced 30% of the purified protein. These sequences agreed with that of human lung MC-CPA, and further support the evidence for a single MC-CPA gene in humans. Four amino acid replacements, resulting in a net positive change in non-hydrogen atoms in the S1' subsite of MC-CPA, were associated with less alteration in substrate specificity, relative to bovine CPA, than might be expected from studies using rat CPA1 and CPA2. We noted two consensus N-linked glycosylation sites in human MC-CPA that are not found in rat and mouse MC-CPA, or in bovine CPA; that at least one of these sites is glycosylated in vivo was verified by N-glycosidase F treatment, lentil lectin binding, and Concanavalin A-Sepharose chromatography. Evolutionary trees constructed from the known carboxypeptidase sequences suggested that MC-CPA most likely evolved from a carboxypeptidase B-like enzyme, independent of the pancreatic CPA. Thus, in the carboxypeptidase gene family, MC-CPA displays a unique genealogy and several amino acid replacements in its S1' binding pocket that result in substrate specificity quite similar to bovine CPA.[1]


  1. Human skin mast cell carboxypeptidase: functional characterization, cDNA cloning, and genealogy. Natsuaki, M., Stewart, C.B., Vanderslice, P., Schwartz, L.B., Natsuaki, M., Wintroub, B.U., Rutter, W.J., Goldstein, S.M. J. Invest. Dermatol. (1992) [Pubmed]
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