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J Protein Chem. 2003 May;22(4):363-9.

The plant invertase inhibitor shares structural properties and disulfide bridges arrangement with the pectin methylesterase inhibitor.

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  • 1Institute of Protein Biochemistry (CNR), Napoli, Italy.


Attempts to purify the inhibitor of pectin methylesterase (PMEI) from the soluble extract of ripe apricot (Prunus armeniaca) fruit led to isolation of a protein (Pa-INH) similar to PMEI, but having invertase inhibitory activity against vacuolar invertase from tomato. The molecular charge, the native and SDS-PAGE molecular weights were similar to those of PMEI. Partial amino acid sequence indicated a high level of identity with invertase inhibitors and a significant identity with PMEI. Circular dichroism analysis showed a mainly alpha-helix secondary structure for both the inhibitors and a higher thermostability of Pa-INH. Four Cys residues forming disulfide bridges in PMEI were conserved in Pa-INH. Similarly to PMEI, these residues were linked by disulfide bridges (first to second and third to fourth). The free Cys139 of PMEI is substituted by Ala in Pa-INH. The results reported in this study suggest a common structural arrangement of the two inhibitors.

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