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Eur J Biochem. 1997 Aug 1;247(3):1143-50.

The heat-shock protein HslVU from Escherichia coli is a protein-activated ATPase as well as an ATP-dependent proteinase.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Research Center for Cell Differentiation, College of Natural Sciences, Seoul National University, Korea.


HslVU in Escherichia coli a new two-component ATP-dependent protease composed of two heat-shock proteins, the HslU ATPase and the HslV peptidase which is related to proteasome beta-type subunits. Here we show that the reconstituted HslVU enzyme degrades not only certain hydrophobic peptides but also various polypeptides, including insulin B-chain, casein, and carboxymethylated lactalbumin. Maximal proteolytic activity was obtained with a 1:2 molar ratio of HslV (a 250-kDa complex) to HslU (a 450-kDa complex). By itself, HslV could slowly hydrolyze these polypeptides, but its activity was stimulated 20-fold by HslU in the presence of ATP. The ATPase activity of HslU was stimulated up to 50% by the protein substrates, but not by nonhydrolyzed proteins, and this stimulation further increased 2-3-fold in the presence of HslV. Concentrations of insulin B-chain that maximally stimulated the ATPase allowed maximal rates of the B-chain hydrolysis. Furthermore, addition of increasing amounts of ADP or N-ethylmaleimide reduced ATP and protein or peptide hydrolysis in parallel. Thus, HslVU is a protein-activated ATPase as well as an ATP-dependent proteinase, and these processes appear linked. Surprisingly, the protein and peptide substrates do not compete with each other for hydrolysis. Lactacystin strongly inhibits protein degradation, but has little effect on peptide hydrolysis, while the peptide aldehydes are potent inhibitors of hydrolysis of small peptides, but have little effect on proteins. Thus, the functional requirements for ATP-dependent hydrolysis of peptides and proteins appear different.

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