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Infect Immun. 1992 Dec;60(12):5219-23.

Streptococcal C5a peptidase is a highly specific endopeptidase.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455.


Compositional analysis of streptococcal C5a peptidase (SCPA) cleavage products from a synthetic peptide corresponding to the 20 C-terminal residues of C5a demonstrated that the target cleavage site is His-Lys rather than Lys-Asp, as previously suggested. A C5a peptide analog with Lys replaced by Gln was also subject to cleavage by SCPA. This confirmed that His-Lys rather than Lys-Asp is the scissile bond. Cleavage at histidine is unusual but is the same as that suggested for a peptidase produced by group B streptococci. Native C5 protein was also resistant to SCPA, suggesting that the His-Lys bond is inaccessible prior to proteolytic cleavage by C5 convertase. These experiments showed that the streptococcal C5a peptidase is highly specific for C5a and suggest that its function is not merely to process protein for metabolic consumption but to act primarily to eliminate this chemotactic signal from inflammatory foci.

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