The N-terminal pro-peptide of 77 amino acid residues is essential for the folding of subtilisin, an alkaline serine protease from Bacillus subtilis. The synthetic pro-peptide has been shown to be capable of guiding the proper folding of denatured subtilisin to enzymatically active enzyme. Thus the pro-peptide serves as an intramolecular chaperone, which is removed by an autoprocessing reaction after the completion of the folding. With use of localized polymerase chain reaction random mutagenesis a total of 25 amino acid substitution mutations that affected subtilisin activities were isolated. These mutations occurred in a high frequency at the hydrophobic regions of the pro-peptide. For one of the mutations, M(-60)T, a second-site suppressor mutation, S(188)L, was isolated within the mature region. These results suggest that the pro-peptide consists of a few functional regions which interact with specific regions of the mature region of subtilisin during the folding process.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology
- Molecular Biology
- protein folding