We previously detected in salivary gland secretions of the medicinal leech (Hirudo medicinalis) a novel enzymatic activity, endo-ɛ(γ-Glu)-Lys isopeptidase, which cleaves isopeptide bonds formed by transglutaminase (Factor XIIIa) between glutamine γ-carboxamide and the ɛ-amino group of lysine. Such isopeptide bonds, either within or between protein polypeptide chains are formed in many biological processes. However, before we started our work no enzymes were known to be capable of specifically splitting isopeptide bonds in proteins. The isopeptidase activity we detected was specific for isopeptide bonds. The enzyme was termed destabilase. Here we report the first purification of destabilase, part of its amino acid sequence, isolation and sequencing of two related cDNAs derived from the gene family that encodes destabilase proteins, and the detection of isopeptidase activity encoded by one of these cDNAs cloned in a baculovirus expression vector. The deduced mature protein products of these cDNAs contain 115 and 116 amino acid residues, including 14 highly conserved Cys residues, and are formed from precursors containing specific leader peptides. No homologous sequences were found in public databases.
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Received: 9 April 1996 / Accepted: 17 May 1996
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Zavalova, L., Lukyanov, S., Baskova, I. et al. Genes from the medicinal leech (Hirudo medicinalis) coding for unusual enzymes that specifically cleave endo-ɛ(γ-Glu)-Lys isopeptide bonds and help to dissolve blood clots. Mol Gen Genet 253, 20–25 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004380050291
- Key words Destabilase genes
- Medicinal leech
- Protein sequence
- Baculovirus expression vector