Mitochondrial processing peptidase, a metalloendopeptidase consisting of α- and β-subunits, specifically recognizes a large variety of mitochondrial precursor proteins and cleaves off amino-terminal extension peptides. The α-subunit has a characteristic glycine-rich segment in the middle portion. To elucidate the role of the region in processing functions of the enzyme, deletion or site-directed mutations were introduced, and effects on kinetic parameters and substrate binding of the enzyme were analyzed. Deletion of three residues of the region, Phe289 to Ala291, led to a dramatic reduction in processing activity to practically zero. Mutation of Phe289, Lys296, and Met298 to alanine resulted in a decrease in the activity, but these mutations had no apparent effect on interactions between the two subunits, indicating that reduction in processing activity is not due to structural disruption at the interface interacting with the β-subunit. Although the mutant enzymes, Phe289Ala, Lys296Ala, and Met298Ala, had an approximate 10-fold less affinity for substrate peptides than did that of the wild type, the deletion mutant, Δ289-291, showed an extremely low affinity. Thus, shortening of the glycine-rich stretch led to a dramatic reduction of interaction between the enzyme and substrate peptides and cleavage reaction, whereas mutation of each amino acid in this region seemed to affect primarily the cleavage reaction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes