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Mycol Res. 2008 Mar;112(Pt 3):389-98. doi: 10.1016/j.mycres.2007.11.013. Epub 2007 Dec 14.

An expanded family of fungalysin extracellular metallopeptidases of Coprinopsis cinerea.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701, USA.


Proteolytic enzymes, particularly secreted proteases of fungal origin, are among the most important of industrial enzymes, yet the biochemical properties and substrate specificities of these proteins have been difficult to characterize. Genomic sequencing offers a powerful tool to identify potentially novel proteases. The genome of the model basidiomycete Coprinopsis cinereus was found to have an unusually high number of metalloproteases that closely match the M36 peptidase family known as fungalysins. The eight predicted C. cinereus fungalysins divide into two groups upon comparison with fungalysins from other fungi. One member, CcMEP1, is most similar to the single representative fungalysins from the basidiomycetes Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Ustilago maydis, and to the fungalysin type-protein from Aspergillus fumigatus. The remaining seven C. cinereus predicted fungalysins form a group with similarity to three predicted M36 peptidases of Laccaria bicolor. All eight of the C. cinereus enzymes contain both the signature M36 Pfam domain and the FTP propeptide domain. All contain large propeptides with considerable sequence conservation near a proposed cleavage site. The predicted mature enzymes range in size from 37-46 kDa and have isoelectric points that are mildly acidic to neutral. The proximity of these genes to telomeres and/or to transposable elements may have contributed to the expansion of this gene family in C. cinereus.

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