Aspartic Proteases (aspartic + protease)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Extracellular glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored mannoproteins and proteases of Cryptococcus neoformans

Richard A. Eigenheer
Abstract Extracellular proteins of Cryptococcus neoformans are involved in the pathogenesis of cryptococcosis, and some are immunoreactive antigens that may potentially serve as candidates for vaccine development. To further study the extracellular proteome of the human fungal pathogen Cry. neoformans, we conducted a proteomic analysis of secreted and cell wall-bound proteins with an acapsular strain of Cry. neoformans. Proteins were identified from both intact cells and cell walls. In both cases, extracellular proteins were removed with trypsin or ,-glucanase, and then all proteins/peptides were purified by solid-phase extraction, spin dialysis, and HPLC, and identified by liquid chromatography,mass spectrometry. This study identified 29 extracellular proteins with a predicted N-terminal signal sequence and also a predicted glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor motif in more than half. Among the novel proteins identified were five glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins with extensive Ser/Thr-rich regions but no apparent functional domains, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored aspartic protease, and a metalloprotease with structural similarity to an elastinolytic metalloprotease of Aspergillus fumigatus. This study suggests that Cry. neoformans has the machinery required to target glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins to the cell wall, and it confirms the extracellular proteolytic ability of Cry. neoformans. [source]

Therapeutic potential of sulfamides as enzyme inhibitors

Jean-Yves Winum
Abstract Sulfamide, a quite simple molecule incorporating the sulfonamide functionality, widely used by medicinal chemists for the design of a host of biologically active derivatives with pharmacological applications, may give rise to at least five types of derivatives, by substituting one to four hydrogen atoms present in it, which show specific biological activities. Recently, some of these compounds started to be exploited for the design of many types of therapeutic agents. Among the enzymes for which sulfamide-based inhibitors were designed, are the carbonic anhydrases (CAs), a large number of proteases belonging to the aspartic protease (HIV-1 protease, ,-secretase), serine protease (elastase, chymase, tryptase, and thrombin among others), and metalloprotease (carboxypeptidase A (CPA) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)) families. Some steroid sulfatase (STS) and protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitors belonging to the sulfamide class of derivatives have also been reported. In all these compounds, many of which show low nanomolar affinity for the target enzymes for which they have been designed, the free or substituted sulfamide moiety plays important roles for the binding of the inhibitor to the active site cavity, either by directly coordinating to a metal ion found in some metalloenzymes (CAs, CPA, STS), usually by means of one of the nitrogen atoms present in the sulfamide motif, or as in the case of the cyclic sulfamides acting as HIV protease inhibitors, interacting with the catalytically critical aspartic acid residues of the active site by means of an oxygen atom belonging to the HNSO2NH motif, which substitutes a catalytically essential water molecule. In other cases, the sulfamide moiety is important for inducing desired physico-chemical properties to the drug-like compounds incorporating it, such as enhanced water solubility, better bioavailability, etc., because of the intrinsic properties of this highly polarized moiety when attached to an organic scaffold. This interesting motif is thus of great value for the design of pharmacological agents with a lot of applications. 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Med Res Rev [source]

Diverse regulatory roles for lysosomal proteases in the immune response

Jeff D. Colbert
Abstract The innate and adaptive immune system utilise endocytic protease activity to promote functional immune responses. Cysteine and aspartic proteases (cathepsins) constitute a subset of endocytic proteases, the immune function of which has been described extensively. Although historically these studies have focused on their role in processes such as antigen presentation and zymogen processing within the endocytic compartment, recent discoveries have demonstrated a critical role for these proteases in other intracellular compartments, and within the extracellular milieu. It has also become clear that their pattern of expression and substrate specificities are more diverse than was first envisaged. Here, we discuss recent advances addressing the role of lysosomal proteases in various aspects of the immune response. We pay attention to reports demonstrating cathepsin activity outside of its canonical endosome/lysosome microenvironment. [source]

Characterization and expression analysis of the aspartic protease gene family of Cynara cardunculus L.

FEBS JOURNAL, Issue 10 2007
Catarina Pimentel
Cardosin A and cardosin B are two aspartic proteases mainly found in the pistils of cardoon Cynara cardunculus L., whose flowers are traditionally used in several Mediterranean countries in the manufacture of ewe's cheese. We have been characterizing cardosins at the biochemical, structural and molecular levels. In this study, we show that the cardoon aspartic proteases are encoded by a multigene family. The genes for cardosin A and cardosin B, as well as those for two new cardoon aspartic proteases, designated cardosin C and cardosin D, were characterized, and their expression in C. cardunculus L. was analyzed by RT-PCR. Together with cardosins, a partial clone of the cyprosin B gene was isolated, revealing that cardosin and cyprosin genes coexist in the genome of the same plant. As a first approach to understanding what dictates the flower-specific pattern of cardosin genes, the respective gene 5, regulatory sequences were fused with the reporter ,-glucuronidase and introduced into Arabidopsis thaliana. A subsequent deletion analysis of the promoter region of the cardosin A gene allowed the identification of a region of approximately 500 bp essential for gene expression in transgenic flowers. Additionally, the relevance of the leader intron of the cardosin A and B genes for gene expression was evaluated. Our data showed that the leader intron is essential for cardosin B gene expression in A. thaliana. In silico analysis revealed the presence of potential regulatory motifs that lay within the aforementioned regions and therefore might be important in the regulation of cardosin expression. [source]

Plasmepsins as potential targets for new antimalarial therapy

Karolina Ersmark
Abstract Malaria is one of the major diseases in the world. Due to the rapid spread of parasite resistance to available antimalarial drugs there is an urgent need for new antimalarials with novel mechanisms of action. Several promising targets for drug intervention have been revealed in recent years. This review addresses the parasitic aspartic proteases termed plasmepsins (Plms) that are involved in the hemoglobin catabolism that occurs during the erythrocytic stage of the malarial parasite life cycle. Four Plasmodium species are responsible for human malaria; P. vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae, and P. falciparum. This review focuses on inhibitors of the haemoglobin-degrading plasmepsins of the most lethal species, P. falciparum; Plm I, Plm II, Plm IV, and histo-aspartic protease (HAP). Previously, Plm II has attracted the most attention. With the identification and characterization of new plasmepsins and the results from recent plasmepsin knockout studies, it now seems clear that in order to achieve high-antiparasitic activities in P. falciparum -infected erythrocytes it is necessary to inhibit several of the haemoglobin-degrading plasmepsins. Herein we summarize the structure,activity relationships of the Plm I, II, IV, and HAP inhibitors. These inhibitors represent all classes which, to the best of our knowledge, have been disclosed in journal articles to date. The 3D structures of inhibitor/plasmepsin II complexes available in the protein data bank are briefly discussed and compared. 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Med Res Rev, 26, No. 5, 626,666, 2006 [source]

Crystallographic evidence for noncoplanar catalytic aspartic acids in plasmepsin II resides in the Protein Data Bank

Arthur H. Robbins
The carboxylate atoms of the two catalytic aspartic acid residues in aspartic proteases are nearly coplanar and in the uncomplexed form share an in-plane nucleophilic water molecule that is central to the mechanism of these enzymes. This note reports that while reviewing the electron-density maps derived from the deposited data for uncomplexed plasmepsin II from Plasmodium falciparum [Asojo et al. (2003), J. Mol. Biol.327, 173,181; PDB code 1lf4], it was discovered that the aspartic acid residues in this structure should in fact be distinctly noncoplanar. The crystallographic model from the deposited coordinates has been re-refined against the 1.9, resolution published diffraction data to an Rcryst of 21.2% and an Rfree of 22.2%. The catalytic water molecule is present, but the plane of the carboxylate group of Asp214 is rotated by 66 from its original position. [source]

Lysosomal cysteine proteases (cathepsins): promising drug targets

an Turk
Papain-like lysosomal cysteine proteases are processive and digestive enzymes expressed in organisms from bacteria to humans. Their ubiquity alone makes them potential drug targets, with the assumption that appropriate specificities may be achieved. These enzymes have rather short active-site clefts, comprising three well defined substrate-binding subsites (S2, S1 and S1,) and additionally have comparatively broad binding areas (S4, S3, S2,, S3,). This geometry distinguishes them from other protease classes, such as serine and aspartic proteases, with six and eight substrate-binding sites, respectively. Exopeptidases (cathepsins B, C, H and X), in contrast to endopeptidases (such as cathepsins L, S, V and F), possess structural features that facilitate binding of N- and C-terminal groups of substrates in the active-site cleft. Other than a clear preference for free chain termini in the case of exopeptidases, the substrate-binding sites exhibit no strict specificities. Instead, their subsite preferences arise more from specific exclusions of substrate type. This presents a challenge for the design of inhibitors to target a specific cathepsin: only the cumulative effect of an assembly of inhibitor fragments can produce the desired result. The small number of papain-like lysosomal cysteine proteases (11 human enzymes are known) and the small number of substrate-binding sites calls for a innovative and empirical approach. [source]

Activation of ASC induces apoptosis or necrosis, depending on the cell type, and causes tumor eradication

CANCER SCIENCE, Issue 8 2010
Kou Motani
The adaptor protein ASC (also called TMS1) links certain NLR proteins (e.g., NLRC4, NLRP3) and caspases. It is involved in the chemosensitivity of tumor cells and inflammation. Here, we found that ASC activation using NLRC4 mimicry or an autoinflammatory disease-associated NLRP3 mutant induced necrosis in COLO205 colon adenocarcinoma cells, but induced caspase-8-dependent apoptosis in NUGC-4 stomach cancer cells. As the Fas ligand induced caspase-8-dependent apoptosis in COLO205 cells, caspase-8 was intact in this cell line. ASC-mediated necrosis was preceded by lysosomal leakage, and diminished by inhibitors for vacuolar H+ -ATPase, cathepsins, and calpains but not by inhibitors for caspase-8, or aspartic proteases, suggesting that lysosomes and certain proteases were involved in this process. Finally, growing tumors of transplanted human cancer cells in nude mice were eradicated by the activation of endogenous ASC in the tumor cells, irrespective of the form of cell death. Thus, ASC mediates distinct forms of cell death in different cell types, and is a promising target for cancer therapy. (Cancer Sci 2010) [source]