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

An ERp60-like protein from the filarial parasite Dirofilaria immitis has both transglutaminase and protein disulfide isomerase activity.

Transglutaminases (TGases; EC are a family of enzymes that catalyze calcium-dependent covalent cross-linking of cellular proteins by establishing epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl)lysine isopeptide bonds. These covalent isopeptide bonds are of great physiological significance because they are highly resistant to proteolysis, denaturants, and reducing agents. Prior studies have demonstrated the presence of isopeptide bonds in the sheath and cuticle of filarial parasites, suggesting an important role for TGase-catalyzed reactions during the growth and development of filarial nematodes. Herein we report the identification and cloning of a cDNA encoding a TGase from the dog heartworm Dirofilaria immitis (DiTG). The DiTG expressed in Escherichia coli (recombinant DiTG) was able to catalyze calcium-dependent cross-linking reactions. The derived amino acid sequence of the DiTG cDNA (pDiTG) predicts a protein of 57.1 kDa and includes an N-terminal hydrophobic signal peptide. The pDiTG has no sequence similarity with any of the known TGases, but it has significant homology to protein disulfide isomerase ( PDI) and, particularly, to the PDI-related endoplasmic reticulum protein ERp60, a PDI isoform found in the lumen of endoplasmic reticulum. As predicted from the amino acid sequence homology, recombinant DiTG catalyzed the isomerization of intramolecular disulfide/sulfhydryl bonds in denatured RNase in vitro as effectively as did mammalian PDI. Conversely, purified PDI from bovine liver could catalyze protein cross-linking reactions in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner. This report describes the dual catalytic activity of TGase and PDI in post- and/or cotranslational modification of newly synthesized proteins. These TGase-catalyzed posttranslational modifications may play a pivotal role in the synthesis of new cuticle during the growth and maturation of filarial parasites.[1]


  1. An ERp60-like protein from the filarial parasite Dirofilaria immitis has both transglutaminase and protein disulfide isomerase activity. Chandrashekar, R., Tsuji, N., Morales, T., Ozols, V., Mehta, K. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1998) [Pubmed]
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