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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Mar 26;394(1):36-41. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.02.064. Epub 2010 Feb 17.

Multiple gamma-glutamylation: a novel type of post-translational modification in a diapausing Artemia cyst protein.

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Bioscience Course, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Niigata University, 2-8050 Ikarashi, Nishi-Ku, Niigata 950-2181, Japan.


A highly hydrophilic, glutamate-rich protein was identified in the aqueous phenol extract from the cytosolic fraction of brine shrimp (Artemia franciscana) diapausing cysts and termed Artemia phenol soluble protein (PSP). Mass spectrometric analysis revealed the presence of many protein peaks around m/z 11,000, separated by 129 atomic mass units; this value corresponds to that of glutamate, which is strongly suggestive of heterogeneous polyglutamylation. Polyglutamylation has long been known as the functionally important post-translational modification of tubulins, which carry poly(L-glutamic acid) chains of heterogeneous length branching off from the main chain at the gamma-carboxy groups of a few specific glutamate residues. In Artemia PSP, however, Edman degradation of enzymatic peptides revealed that at least 13, and presumably 16, glutamate residues were modified by the attachment of a single L-glutamate, representing a hitherto undescribed type of post-translational modification: namely, multiple gamma-glutamylation or the addition of a large number of glutamate residues along the polypeptide chain. Although biological significance of PSP and its modification is yet to be established, suppression of in vitro thermal aggregation of lactate dehydrogenase by glutamylated PSP was observed.

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