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Biochimie. 2000 Feb;82(2):95-107.

MAPs and POEP of the roads from prokaryotic to eukaryotic kingdoms.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588, USA.


Methionine aminopeptidases (MAPs) play important roles in protein processing. MAPs from various organisms, for example E. coli, S. typhimurium, P. furiosus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and porcine have been purified to homogeneity and their MAP activities have been tested in vitro and in vivo. The DNA sequence analyses of MAP genes from the above organisms reveal sequence homologies with other prokaryotic MAPs as well as with various eukaryotic homologues of rat p67. The cellular glycoprotein, p67 protects the alpha-subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF2) from phosphorylation by its kinases. We call this POEP (protection of eIF2alpha phosphorylation) activity of p67. The POEP activity of p67 is observed in different stress-related situations such as during heme-deficiency of reticulocytes, serum starvation and heat-shock of mammalian cells, vaccinia virus infection of mammalian cells, baculovirus infection of insect cells, mitosis, apoptosis, and possibly during normal cell growth. The POEP activity of p67 is regulated by an enzyme, called p67-deglycosylase (p67-DG). When active, p67-DG inactivates p67 by removing its carbohydrate moieties. Remarkable amino acid sequence similarities at the C-terminus of rat p67 with its eukaryotic and prokaryotic homologues which have MAP activities, raise several important questions: i) does rat p67 have MAP activity?; and ii) if it does have MAP activity, how the two activities (POEP and MAP) of p67 are used by mammalian cells during their growth and differentiation. In this review, discussions have been made to evaluate both POEP and MAP activities of p67 and their possible involvement during normal growth and cancerous growth of mammalian cells.

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