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J Biol Chem. 1993 Apr 15;268(11):7935-42.

Purification and characterization of a potent 70-kDa thiol lysyl-proteinase (Lys-gingivain) from Porphyromonas gingivalis that cleaves kininogens and fibrinogen.

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  • 1Sol Sherry Thrombosis Research Center, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


We isolated an enzyme from a major periodontal pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis (also called Bacteroides gingivalis), that is capable of initially increasing the coagulant activity of high molecular weight kininogen (HK), releasing bradykinin from HK and low molecular weight kininogen (LK), and destroying the light chain (coagulant portion) of HK. This enzyme, a membrane-bound thiol proteinase that preferentially cleaves the P1-Lys position of tripeptide substrates, is also able to rapidly render fibrinogen nonclottable. We will refer to this enzyme as lys-gingivain because of its origin from P. gingivalis, its classification as a thiol proteinase, and its action as a lysyl-amidase. The activity of lys-gingivain is enhanced by beta-mercaptoethanol, and the enzyme has a molecular mass of 68-70 kDa, a pH optimum of 7.4, and is not inactivated by plasma protease inhibitors. The second-order rate constant for the destruction of the coagulant activity of the HK light chain (surface-binding domain) at 23 degrees C is 2.3 x 10(7) M-1 s-1, and, for cleavages that render fibrinogen unclottable, is 2.05 x 10(6) M-1 s-1. These data suggest that lys-gingivain is a very potent proteinase that would be fully functional in anaerobic periodontal crevices and might participate in the pathogenesis of periodontitis. Lys-gingivain appears to be the most potent kininogenase and fibrase to be described to date.

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