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Plant Physiol. 2010 Apr;152(4):2158-72. doi: 10.1104/pp.109.148742. Epub 2010 Feb 12.

The catalytic and protein-protein interaction domains are required for APM1 function.

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Department of Horticulture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA.


Aminopeptidase M1 (APM1) is essential for embryonic, vegetative, and reproductive development in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Here, we show that, like mammalian M1 proteases, APM1 appears to have distinct enzymatic and protein-protein interaction domains and functions as a homodimer. Arabidopsis seedlings treated with ezetimibe, an inhibitor of M1 protein-protein interactions, mimicked a subset of apm1 phenotypes distinct from those resulting from treatment with PAQ-22, an inhibitor of M1 catalytic activity, suggesting that the APM1 catalytic and interaction domains can function independently. apm1-1 knockdown mutants transformed with catalytically inactive APM1 did not prevent seedling lethality. However, apm1-2 has a functional enzymatic domain but lacks the carboxyl (C) terminus, and transformation with catalytically inactive APM1 rescued the mutant. Overexpression of human insulin-responsive aminopeptidase/oxytocinase rescued all apm1 phenotypes, suggesting that the catalytic activity was sufficient to compensate for loss of APM1 function, while overexpression of catalytically inactive insulin-responsive aminopeptidase/oxytocinase only rescued apm1-2. Increased catalytic activity alone is not sufficient to compensate for loss of APM1 function, as overexpression of another Arabidopsis M1 family member lacking an extended C terminus did not rescue apm1-1. The protein interactions facilitating enzymatic activity appear to be dependent on the C terminus of APM1, as transformation with an open reading frame containing an internal deletion of a portion of the C terminus or a point mutation in a dileucine motif did not rescue the mutant. These results suggest that both the catalytic and interaction domains are necessary for APM1 function but that APM1 function and dimerization do not require these domains to be present in the same linear molecule.

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