Structural Basis of the Unusual Stability and Substrate Specificity of Ervatamin C, a Plant Cysteine Protease from Ervatamia coronariaThakurta, P.G., Biswas, S., Chakrabarti, C., Sundd, M., Jagannadham, M.V., Dattagupta, J.K.
(2004) Biochemistry 43: 1532-1540
- PubMed: 14769029
- DOI: 10.1021/bi0357659
- PubMed Abstract:
Ervatamin C is an unusually stable cysteine protease from the medicinal plant Ervatamia coronaria belonging to the papain family. Though it cleaves denatured natural proteins with high specific activity, its activity toward some small synthetic subst ...
Ervatamin C is an unusually stable cysteine protease from the medicinal plant Ervatamia coronaria belonging to the papain family. Though it cleaves denatured natural proteins with high specific activity, its activity toward some small synthetic substrates is found to be insignificant. The three-dimensional structure and amino acid sequence of the protein have been determined from X-ray diffraction data at 1.9 A (R = 17.7% and R(free) = 19.0%). The overall structure of ervatamin C is similar to those of other homologous cysteine proteases of the family, folding into two distinct left and right domains separated by an active site cleft. However, substitution of a few amino acid residues, which are conserved in the other members of the family, has been observed in both the domains and also at the region of the interdomain cleft. Consequently, the number of intra- and interdomain hydrogen-bonding interactions is enhanced in the structure of ervatamin C. Moreover, a unique disulfide bond has been identified in the right domain of the structure, in addition to the three conserved disulfide bridges present in the papain family. All these factors contribute to an increase in the stability of ervatamin C. In this enzyme, the nature of the S2 subsite, which is the primary determinant of specificity of these proteases, is similar to that of papain, but at the S3 subsite, Ala67 replaces an aromatic residue, and has the effect of eliminating sufficient hydrophobic interactions required for S3-P3 stabilization. This provides the possible explanation for the lower activity of ervatamin C toward the small substrate/inhibitor. This substitution, however, does not affect the binding of denatured natural protein substrates to the enzyme significantly, as there exist a number of additional interactions at the enzyme-substrate interface outside the active site cleft.
Crystallography and Molecular Biology Division, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, 1/AF Bidhannagar, Kolkata-700 064, India.