Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Struct Biol. 1998 Oct;5(10):866-71.

Conformational switching in an aspartic proteinase.

Author information

Structural Biochemistry Program, SAIC Frederick, National Cancer Institute, Maryland 21702-1201, USA.


The crystal structure of a catalytically inactive form of cathepsin D (CatDhi) has been obtained at pH 7.5. The N-terminal strand relocates by 30 A from its position in the interdomain beta-sheet and inserts into the active site cleft, effectively blocking substrate access. CatDhi has a five-stranded interdomain beta-sheet and resembles Intermediate 3, a hypothetical structure proposed to be transiently formed during proteolytic activation of the proenzyme precursor. Interconversion between active and inactive forms of CatD is reversible and may be regulated by an ionizable switch involving the carboxylate side chains of Glu 5, Glu 180, and Asp 187. Our findings provide a structural basis for the pH-dependent regulation of aspartic proteinase activity and suggest a novel mechanism for pH-dependent modulation of substrate specificity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Support Center