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Comparative study on specificities of rat cathepsin L and papain: amino acid differences at substrate-binding sites are involved in their specificities

Comparative study on specificities of rat cathepsin L and papain: amino acid differences at substrate-binding sites are involved in their specificities

Journal of Biochemistry 108(6): 976-982

ISSN/ISBN: 0021-924X

PMID: 2089043

Sixty-nine rat cathepsin L-susceptible peptide bonds were analyzed employing various peptide substrates. The proteolytic specificities of rat cathepsin L and papain were compared and the results are discussed in relation to differences in amino acid residues around their binding sites. The specificity of cathepsin L, which is characterized by a remarkable preference for hydrophobic amino acids at the P2 site of the scissile peptide bonds, was analogous to that of papain as a whole. This analogous specificity suggests that the binding sites of the two proteases are analogous, as expected from their homologous amino acid sequences. However, there is a slight difference in the preference for S3 site between them. That is, cathepsin L showed a greater preference for bulky and hydrophobic amino acids at the S3 site than did papain. Based on the computer-graphically deduced structure of the binding sites of cathepsin L, the preferences for hydrophobic amino acids at the S2 site and for bulky and hydrophobic amino acids at the S3 site of the protease are supposed to be related to the compensating amino acid substitutions at the S2 site (V133A and V157L) and the reduction in size at the S3 site (Y61Q and Y67L), respectively. The discussion of the effect of the amino acid substitutions on the proteolytic activities of cathepsin L and papain in this paper provides a basis for more advanced studies of the relationship between structure and function of proteases belonging to the papain superfamily by means of protein engineering.

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Accession: 039624079

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