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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1992 Mar 20;1138(3):213-21.

Characterization of different proteolytic activities in Trypanosoma brucei brucei.

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Unité INSERM No. 16, Lille, France.


The variant surface glycoprotein of African trypanosomes is released after overnight incubation of parasites at 4 degrees C in pH 5.5 phosphate glucose buffer and may be purified by Concanavalin A Sepharose affinity chromatography. The addition of proteinase inhibitors during the parasite incubation is necessary to prevent the proteolysis of the variant surface glycoprotein by the trypanosomal released proteinases. Using this procedure without the addition of proteinase inhibitors, the proteolytic activities, released from the bloodstream forms Trypanosoma brucei brucei variant AnTat 1.1, were separated by Concanavalin-A Sepharose affinity chromatography. The unretained material (F1) shows hydrolytic activity against the two synthetic substrates Z-Phe-Arg-AMC and Z-Arg-Arg-AMC, which is stimulated by dithiothreitol, but not inhibited by E-64, and characterized by an alkaline pH optimum and an estimated molecular mass of 80-100 kDa. The Michaelis constant for the substrates Z-Arg-Arg-AMC and Z-Phe-Arg-AMC was, respectively, 2.8 and 6.7 microM. The retained material eluted by addition of 1% methyl-alpha-D-mannopyranoside (F2) shows hydrolytic activity against the synthetic substrate Z-Phe-Arg-AMC, which is stimulated by dithiothreitol, inhibited by E-64, active between pH 6.0 and 8.0, and could be separated into two peaks of activity by HPLC, one peak of high molecular mass (greater than 70 kDa) and the other peak of lower molecular mass (30-70 kDa). By electrophoresis in gels containing gelatin as substrate, this fraction contains several proteins with gelatinolytic activity, whereas the unretained fraction F1 did not have any gelatinolytic activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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