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Science. 2002 Jun 21;296(5576):2215-8.

Identification of signal peptide peptidase, a presenilin-type aspartic protease.

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Institute of Biochemistry, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), ETH-Hoenggerberg, 8093 Z├╝rich, Switzerland.


Signal peptide peptidase (SPP) catalyzes intramembrane proteolysis of some signal peptides after they have been cleaved from a preprotein. In humans, SPP activity is required to generate signal sequence-derived human lymphocyte antigen-E epitopes that are recognized by the immune system, and to process hepatitis C virus core protein. We have identified human SPP as a polytopic membrane protein with sequence motifs characteristic of the presenilin-type aspartic proteases. SPP and potential eukaryotic homologs may represent another family of aspartic proteases that promote intramembrane proteolysis to release biologically important peptides.

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