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Mol Cell. 2001 Feb;7(2):411-20.

Lack of proteasome active site allostery as revealed by subunit-specific inhibitors.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


The chymotrypsin-like (CT-L) activity of the proteasome is downregulated by substrates of the peptidyl-glutamyl peptide hydrolyzing (PGPH) activity. To investigate the nature of such interactions, we synthesized selective alpha',beta'-epoxyketone inhibitors of the PGPH activity. In cellular proliferation and protein degradation assays, these inhibitors revealed that selective PGPH inhibition was insufficient to inhibit protein degradation, indicating that the CT-L and PGPH sites function independently. We also demonstrated that CT-L inhibition by a PGPH substrate does not require the occupancy of the PGPH site or hydrolysis of the PGPH substrate. Thus, these results support a model in which a substrate of one subunit regulates the activity of another via binding to a noncatalytic site(s) rather than through binding to an active site.

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