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FEBS Lett. 2013 Jun 19;587(12):1767-72. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2013.04.026. Epub 2013 May 7.

Secretion of miraculin through the function of a signal peptide conserved in the Kunitz-type soybean trypsin inhibitor family.

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Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Nara Women's University, Nara 630-8506, Japan.


Miraculin, a glycoprotein that modifies sour tastes into sweet ones, belongs to the Kunitz-type soybean trypsin inhibitor (STI) family. To clarify the functional relation of miraculin with Kunitz-type STIs, we investigated its subcellular localization and trypsin inhibitory activity. In transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana, miraculin, fused to yellow fluorescent protein, localized to and outside the plasma membrane depending on the putative secretion signal peptide. When transgenic seedlings were cultured in liquid medium, miraculin was present in the supernatant only after cellulase treatment. No trypsin inhibitory activity was detected in native or recombinant miraculin. In conclusion, miraculin is secreted outside the plasma membrane through the function of a signal peptide, conserved in Kunitz-type STIs, whereas its trypsin inhibitory activity may be lost during its evolution.

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