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J Biol Chem. 1995 Jul 14;270(28):16724-30.

Characterization and partial amino acid sequencing of a 107-kDa procollagen I N-proteinase purified by affinity chromatography on immobilized type XIV collagen.

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  • 1Laboratory of Experimental Dermatology, University of Liège, CHU Sart Tilman, Belgium.


Procollagen I N-proteinase (EC, the enzyme that specifically processes type I and type II procollagens to collagen, was isolated from extracts of fetal calf skin. After two chromatographic steps on concanavalin A-Sepharose and heparin-Sepharose, the semi-purified preparation was used to produce monoclonal antibodies. One reacting antibody was found to recognize not the enzyme itself but type XIV collagen on which the enzyme was bound. This binding, highly sensitive to ionic conditions (plH, salt concentrations) but not affected by non-ionic detergents, was used for affinity chromatography that strongly improved the purification procedure. The enzyme is extensively characterized: 1) it has a molecular mass of 107 kDa as determined by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in presence of SDS and of about 130 kDa when estimated by gel filtration on a Sephacryl-S300; 2) in standard assay (pH 7.5, 0.2 M NaCl, 35 degrees C), the activation energy for reaction with amino procollagen type I was 17,000 calories per mole. In the same conditions, Km and Vmax values were, respectively, 435 and 39 nM per hour but varied strongly with pH and salt concentration; 3) the enzyme cleaved the NH2-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen at the specific site, the Pro-Gln bond in the alpha 1 type I procollagen chain; 4) the enzyme contained a high proportion of Gly, Asx, and Glx residues but no Hyp or Hyl; 5) partial amino acid sequences obtained from internal peptides of the enzyme displayed no significant homology with known sequences. The association of procollagen I N-proteinase with a FACIT (fibril-associated collagens with interrupted triple helices) collagen as found here might be of physiological significance.

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