Distal Substrate Interactions Enhance Plasmepsin Activity

Eva S. Istvan, Daniel E. Goldberg
2004 Journal of Biological Chemistry  
Plasmepsin II (PM II) is an aspartic protease active in hemoglobin (Hb) degradation in the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. A fluorescence-quenched octapeptide substrate based on the initial hemoglobin cleavage site is recognized well by PM II. C-terminal extension of this peptide has little effect, but N-terminal extension results in higher maximal velocity and dramatic concentration-dependent substrate inhibition. This inhibition, but not the rate stimulation, depends on the presence
more » ... nds on the presence of a DABCYL group on the peptide N terminus. Using sitedirected mutagenesis, we have identified PM II residues that interact with N-terminal amino acids of peptide substrates. The same residues influence degradation of Hb by PM II. Cathepsin E (CatE), a related mammalian aspartic protease, is also stimulated by N-terminally extended substrates. This suggests that distal substrate interactions as far out as P6 may be a general property of aspartic proteases and may be important in substrate and inhibitor recognition. Although PM II and CatE are similar in their ability to cleave Hb-based peptides and Hb ␣-chains, CatE is not able to degrade native Hb, which is a substrate for PM II. Based on these results, we propose that PM II may have the special feature of being a Hb denaturase.
doi:10.1074/jbc.m412086200 pmid:15574427 fatcat:ruvbyw6afnadla5ynmqv42radu