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

Proteolytic processing of the beta-subunit of the lysosomal enzyme, beta-hexosaminidase, in normal human fibroblasts.

We have characterized the proteolytic processing of the beta-subunit of beta-hexosaminidase by identifying the amino termini of the various forms synthesized in cell-free translation and in cultured human fibroblasts. The procedures used had been developed for similar studies of the alpha-subunit (Little, L. E., Lau, M. M. H., Quon, D. V. K., Fowler, A. V., and Neufeld, E. F. (1988) J. Biol. Chem. 263, 4288-4292). Radioactive amino acids were incorporated biosynthetically into the different forms of the beta-subunit, which were isolated by immunoprecipitation, gel electrophoresis, and electroelution, and analyzed by automated Edman degradation. Translation by reticulocyte lysate in the presence of canine pancreas microsomes gave a product with alanine 43 at the amino terminus. The lysate could initiate translation at methionine 1 or methionine 13, depending on the SP6 mRNA provided. The product of signal peptidase action, the precursor form of the beta-subunit with amino-terminal alanine 43, was found in NH4+-induced secretions of cultured fibroblasts; intracellularly, this form was trimmed of two additional amino acids. The mature form was found to consist of three polypeptides joined by disulfide bonds; the amino termini were found to be valine 48, threonine 122, and lysine 315. Thus, in contrast to the alpha-subunit, the mature form of the beta-subunit of beta-hexosaminidase is derived from the precursor by internal proteolytic nicking rather than by removal of a large amino-terminal peptide segment.[1]


  1. Proteolytic processing of the beta-subunit of the lysosomal enzyme, beta-hexosaminidase, in normal human fibroblasts. Quon, D.V., Proia, R.L., Fowler, A.V., Bleibaum, J., Neufeld, E.F. J. Biol. Chem. (1989) [Pubmed]
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