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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Mar;86(6):1855-9.

Post-translational modifications in the large subunit of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase.

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  • 1Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40546.


Two adjacent N-terminal tryptic peptides of the large subunit of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase [3-phospho-D-glycerate carboxy-lyase (dimerizing), EC] from spinach, wheat, tobacco, and muskmelon were removed by limited tryptic proteolysis. Characterization by peptide sequencing, amino acid composition, and tandem mass spectrometry revealed that the N-terminal residue from the large subunit of the enzyme from each plant species was acetylated proline. The sequence of the penultimate N-terminal tryptic peptide from the large subunit of the spinach and wheat enzyme was consistent with previous primary structure determinations. However, the penultimate N-terminal peptide from the large subunit of both the tobacco and muskmelon enzymes, while identical, differed from the corresponding peptide from spinach and wheat by containing a trimethyllysyl residue at position 14. Thus, tryptic proteolysis occurred at lysine-18 rather than lysine-14 as with the spinach and wheat enzymes. A comparison of the DNA sequences for the large subunit of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase indicates that the N terminus has been post-translationally processed by removal of methionine-1 and serine-2 followed by acetylation of proline-3. In addition, for the enzyme from tobacco and muskmelon a third post-translational modification occurs at lysine-14 in the form of N epsilon-trimethylation.

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