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Immunogenetics. 1997;46(4):337-44.

PA28 subunits of the mouse proteasome: primary structures and chromosomal localization of the genes.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Sapporo 060, Japan.


The 20S proteasome is a multi-subunit protease responsible for the production of peptides presented by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules. Recent evidence indicates that an interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)-inducible PA28 activator complex enhances the generation of class I binding peptides by altering the cleavage pattern of the proteasome. In the present study, we determined the primary structures of the mouse PA28 alpha- and beta-subunits. The deduced amino acid sequences of the alpha- and beta-subunits were 49% identical. We also determined the primary structure of the mouse PA28 gamma-subunit (Ki antigen), a protein of unknown function structurally related to the alpha- and beta-subunits. The amino acid sequence identity of the gamma-subunit to the alpha- and beta-subunits was 40% and 32%, respectively. Interspecific backcross mapping showed that the mouse genes coding for the alpha- and beta-subunits (designated Psme1 and Psme2, respectively) are tightly linked and map close to the Atp5g1 locus on chromosome 14. Thus, unlike the LMP2 and LMP7 subunits, the IFN-gamma-inducible subunits of PA28 are encoded outside the MHC. The gene coding for the gamma-subunit (designated Psme3) was mapped to the vicinity of the Brca1 locus on chromosome 11. A computer search of the DNA databases identified a gamma-subunit-like protein in ticks and Caenorhabditis elegans, the organisms with no adaptive immune system. It appears that the IFN-gamma-inducible alpha- and beta-subunits emerged by gene duplication from a gamma-subunit-like precursor.

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