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Substrate Specificity of Rat DESC4, a Type II Transmembrane Serine Protease

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Type II transmembrane serine proteases (TTSPs) are involved in important physiological processes, such as pro-hormone processing, cellular signaling, host immune defense, and cancer development. The diversity of functions is reflected by the multidomain architecture of these proteases, which are composed of a variety of functional domains in addition to the catalytic domain. Recently, we identified rat DESC4, a member of the HAT/DESC1-like subfamily of TTSPs. Intriguingly, DESC4 gene expression is confined to few tissues including gustatory papillae. In the current publication we present the purification of the catalytic domain of recombinant rat DESC4. Subsequently, the catalytic domain was subjected to a refolding procedure. During refolding we observed endogenous catalytic activity leading to smaller fragments, which were analyzed by peptide sequencing. The identified cleavage-sites are typical for trypsin-like serine proteases. For further analyses a homology-based model of the DESC4 catalytic domain was generated enabling us to investigate protease-substrate interaction in more detail.

Keywords: HAT/DESC1-like proteases; Type II transmembrane serine protease; proteolysis; recombinant protein expression

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.

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