An aminopeptidase from Vibrio proteolyticus was translated as a preproprotein consisting of four domains: a signal peptide, an N-terminal propeptide, a mature region and a C-terminal propeptide. Protein expression and analysis of the activity results demonstrated that the N-terminal propeptide was essential to the formation of the active enzyme in Escherichia coli. Urea dissolution of inclusion bodies and dialysis indicated that the N-terminal propeptide could facilitate the correct folding of the enzyme in vitro. Using l-Leu-p-nitroanilide as the substrate, the kinetic parameters (kcat and Km) of the pro-aminopeptidase and processed aminopeptidases were analysed. The results suggested that the N-terminal propeptide inhibited enzyme activity of the mature region. In contrast, the C-terminal propeptide did not show evidence of forming an active enzyme, of correctly folding in vitro or of inhibiting the active region.
- The Biochemical Society, London © 2000