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

Amino acid sequence of human D of the alternative complement pathway.

The primary structure of human D, the serine protease activating the C3 convertase of the alternative complement pathway, has been deduced by sequencing peptides derived from various chemical (CNBr and o-iodosobenzoic acid) and enzymatic (trypsin, lysine protease, Staphylococcus aureus V8 protease, and chymotrypsin) cleavages. Carboxypeptidase A was also used to confirm the COOH-terminal sequence. The peptides were purified by high-pressure liquid chromatography. The proposed sequence of human D contains 222 amino acids and has a calculated molecular weight of 23 748. It exhibits a high degree of homology with other serine proteases, especially around the NH2-terminus as well as the three residues corresponding to the active-site His-57, Asp-102, and Ser-195 (chymotrypsinogen numbering). This sequence homology is highest (40%) with plasmin, intermediate (35%) with pancreatic serine proteases, such as elastase, trypsin, chymotrypsin, and kallikrein, and least (30%) with the serum enzymes thrombin and factor X. D, however, exhibits only minimal amino acid homology with the other sequenced complement serine proteases, Clr (25%) and Bb (20%). The substitution of a basic lysine for a neutral amino acid three residues NH2-terminal to the active-site serine as well as a small serine residue for a bulky aromatic amino acid at position 215 (chymotrypsinogen numbering) in the binding pocket may be important in determining the exquisite substrate specificity of D. The presence of His-40 which interacts with Asp-194 (chymotrypsinogen numbering) to stabilize other serine protease zymogens [Freer, S. T., Kraut, J., Robertus, J. D., Wright, H. T., & Xuong, N. H. (1970) Biochemistry 9, 1997] argues in favor of such a D precursor molecule.[1]


  1. Amino acid sequence of human D of the alternative complement pathway. Niemann, M.A., Bhown, A.S., Bennett, J.C., Volanakis, J.E. Biochemistry (1984) [Pubmed]
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