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J Biol Chem. 2004 Apr 2;279(14):14323-30. Epub 2004 Jan 13.

Role of C-terminal extensions of subunits beta2 and beta7 in assembly and activity of eukaryotic proteasomes.

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  • 1Departamento de Química e Bioquímica, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8000-117 Faro, Portugal.


A close inspection of the crystal structure of the yeast 20 S proteasome revealed that a prominent connection between the two beta-rings is mediated by the subunit beta7/Pre4. Its C-terminal extension intercalates between the beta1/Pre3 and beta2/Pup1 subunits on the opposite ring. We show that the interactions promoted by the beta7/Pre4 tail are important to facilitate the formation of 20 S particles from two half-proteasome precursor complexes and/or to stabilize mature 20 S proteasomes. The deletion of 19 residues from the beta7/Pre4 C terminus leads to an accumulation of half-proteasome precursor complexes containing the maturation factor Ump1. The C-terminal extension of beta7/Pre4, which forms several hydrogen bonds with beta1/Pre3, is in addition required for the post-acidic activity mediated by the latter subunit. Deletion of the C-terminal tail of beta7/Pre4 results in an inhibition of beta1/Pre3 propeptide processing and abrogation of post-acidic activity. Our data obtained with yeast strains that expressed the mature form of Pre3 lacking its propeptide suggest that interactions between the Pre4 C terminus and Pre3 stabilize a conformation of its active site, which is essential for post-acidic activity. Deletion of the C-terminal extension of beta2/Pup1, which wraps around beta3/Pup3 within the same beta-ring, is lethal, indicating that this extension serves an essential function in proteasome assembly or stability.

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