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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 Dec 16;1601(2):149-54.

Identification of the catalytic triad in tripeptidyl-peptidase II through site-directed mutagenesis.

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Department of Microbiology, The Skirball Institute, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.


Tripeptidyl-peptidase II (TPP II) is a 138-kDa subtilisin-like serine peptidase forming high molecular mass oligomers of >1000 kDa. The enzyme participates in general protein turnover and apoptotic pathways, and also has specific substrates such as neuropeptides. Here we report the site-directed mutagenesis of amino acids predicted to be involved in catalysis. The amino acids forming the putative catalytic triad (Asp-44, His-264, Ser-449) as well as the conserved Asn-362, potentially stabilizing the transition state, were replaced by alanine and the mutated cDNAs were transfected into human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells. In clones stably expressing the mutant proteins, TPP II activity did not exceed the endogenous activity, thus confirming the essential role of the above amino acids in catalysis. Mutant and wild-type TPP II subunits co-eluted from a gel filtration column, suggesting that the subunits associate and that the native subunit conformation was retained in the mutants. Interestingly, the S449A and a H264A mutant enzyme affected the quaternary structure of the endogenously expressed TPP II, resulting in formation of an active, larger complex of >10,000 kDa.

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