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FEBS Lett. 1997 Apr 28;407(2):207-10.

Primary structures of two ribonucleases from ginseng calluses. New members of the PR-10 family of intracellular pathogenesis-related plant proteins.

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Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.


The amino acid sequences of two ribonucleases from a callus cell culture of Panax ginseng were determined. The two sequences differ at 26% of the amino acid positions. Homology was found with a large family of intracellular pathogenesis-related proteins, food allergens and tree pollen allergens from both dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous plant species. There is about 30% sequence difference with proteins from species belonging to the same plant order (Apiales: parsley and celery), 60% with those from four other dicotyledonous plant orders and about 70% from that of the monocotyledonous asparagus. More thorough evolutionary analyses of sequences lead to the conclusion that the general biological function of members of this protein family may be closely related to the ability to cleave intracellular RNA and that they have an important role in cell metabolism. As the three-dimensional structure of one of the members of this protein family has been determined recently [Gajhede et al., Nature Struct Biol 3 (1996) 1040-1045], it may be possible to assign active-site residues in the enzyme molecule and make hypotheses about its mode of action. Structural features in addition to the cellular site of biosynthesis indicate that this family of ribonucleases is very different from previously investigated ones.

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