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Biochemistry. 2000 Dec 12;39(49):15121-8.

Cloning, expression, and characterization of human cytosolic aminopeptidase P: a single manganese(II)-dependent enzyme.

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Proteolysis Research Group, School of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT United Kingdom.


The mammalian bradykinin-degrading enzyme aminopeptidase P (AP-P; E. C. is a metal-dependent enzyme and is a member of the peptidase clan MG. AP-P exists as membrane-bound and cytosolic forms, which represent distinct gene products. A partially truncated clone encoding the cytosolic form was obtained from a human pancreatic cDNA library and the 5' region containing the initiating Met was obtained by 5' rapid accumulation of cDNA ends (RACE). The open reading frame encodes a protein of 623 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 69,886 Da. The full-length cDNA with a C-terminal hexahistidine tag was expressed in Escherichia coli and COS-1 cells and migrated on SDS-PAGE with a molecular mass of 71 kDa. The expressed cytosolic AP-P hydrolyzed the X-Pro bond of bradykinin and substance P but did not hydrolyze Gly-Pro-hydroxyPro. Hydrolysis of bradykinin was inhibited by 1,10-phenanthroline and by the specific inhibitor of the membrane-bound form of mammalian AP-P, apstatin. Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy of AP-P expressed in E. coli revealed the presence of 1 mol of manganese/mol of protein and insignificant amounts of cobalt, iron, and zinc. The enzymatic activity of AP-P was promoted in the presence of Mn(II), and this activation was increased further by the addition of glutathione. The only other metal ion to cause slight activation of the enzyme was Co(II), with Ca(II), Cu(II), Mg(II), Ni(II), and Zn(II) all being inhibitory. Removal of the metal ion from the protein was achieved by treatment with 1,10-phenanthroline. The metal-free enzyme was reactivated by the addition of Mn(II) and, partially, by Fe(II). Neither Co(II) nor Zn(II) reactivated the metal-free enzyme. On the basis of these data we propose that human cytosolic AP-P is a single metal ion-dependent enzyme and that manganese is most likely the metal ion used in vivo.

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