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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1998 Aug 10;249(1):38-43.

Hemoglobin-binding protein purified from Porphyromonas gingivalis is identical to lysine-specific cysteine proteinase (Lys-gingipain).

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Department of Preventive Dentistry, Osaka University Faculty of Dentistry, Japan.


The functional protein that binds to human hemoglobin (hemoglobin-binding protein; HBP) was purified from Porphyromonas gingivalis cells. The analyses of the amino-terminal sequence and amino acid composition revealed that HBP is identical to lysine-specific cysteine proteinase (51 kDa Lys-gingipain; KGP) of P. gingivalis 381. It is a novel finding that KGP has binding affinity to hemoglobin. The binding activity of HBP was enhanced by acidic or anaerobic conditions. Arg-gingipain, a member of the gingipain family, of P. gingivalis exhibited no ability to bind to hemoglobin. The recombinant protein of KGP (r-KGP) generated in Escherichia coli showed both hemoglobin-binding and proteolytic activities. The treatment of r-KGP by protein disulfide isomerase effectively enhanced binding to hemoglobin, whereas the proteinase activity was decreased. The treated r-KGP significantly inhibited the binding of hemoglobin to the whole cell extracts in a dose-dependent manner. These results suggest that the hemoglobin binding of P. gingivalis is mediated by KGP through active domain(s) distinct from that for proteinase activity.

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