Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Biol. 1995 Jul 1;5(7):766-74.

The first characterization of a eubacterial proteasome: the 20S complex of Rhodococcus.

Author information

Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany.



The 26S proteasome is the central protease of the ubiquitin-dependent pathway of protein degradation. The proteolytic core of the complex is formed by the 20S proteasome, a cylinder-shaped particle that in archaebacteria contains two different subunits (alpha and beta) and in eukaryotes contains fourteen different subunits (seven of the alpha-type and seven of the beta-type).


We have purified a 20S proteasome complex from the nocardioform actinomycete Rhodococcus sp. strain NI86/21. The complex has an apparent relative molecular mass of 690 kD, and efficiently degrades the chymotryptic substrate Suc-Leu-Leu-Val-Tyr-AMC in the presence or absence of 0.05% SDS. Purified preparations reveal the existence of four subunits, two of the alpha-type and two of the beta-type, the genes for which we have cloned and sequenced. Electron micrographs show that the complex has the four-ringed, cylinder-shaped appearance typical of proteasomes.


The recent description of the first eubacterial ubiquitin, and our discovery of a eubacterial proteasome show that the ubiquitin pathway of protein degradation is ancestral and common to all forms of life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center