Identification and characterization of human polyserase-3, a novel protein with tandem serine-protease domains in the same polypeptide chain
Santiago Cal, Juan R Peinado, María Llamazares, Víctor Quesada, Angela Moncada-Pazos, Cecilia Garabaya and Carlos López-Otín
Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Medicina, Instituto Universitario de Oncología, Universidad de Oviedo, 33006-Oviedo, Spain
We have previously described the identification and characterization of polyserase-1 and polyserase-2, two human serine proteases containing three different catalytic domains within the same polypeptide chain. Polyserase-1 shows a complex organization and it is synthesized as a membrane-bound protein which can generate three independent serine protease domains as a consequence of post-translational processing events. The two first domains are enzymatically active. By contrast, polyserase-2 is an extracellular glycosylated protein whose three protease domains remain embedded in the same chain, and only the first domain possesses catalytic activity.
Following our interest in the study of the human degradome, we have cloned a human liver cDNA encoding polyserase-3, a new protease with tandem serine protease domains in the same polypeptide chain. Comparative analysis of polyserase-3 with the two human polyserases described to date, revealed that this novel polyprotein is more closely related to polyserase-2 than to polyserase-1. Thus, polyserase-3 is a secreted protein such as polyserase-2, but lacks additional domains like the type II transmembrane motif and the low-density lipoprotein receptor module present in the membrane-anchored polyserase-1. Moreover, analysis of post-translational mechanisms operating in polyserase-3 maturation showed that its two protease domains remain as integral parts of the same polypeptide chain. This situation is similar to that observed in polyserase-2, but distinct from polyserase-1 whose protease domains are proteolytically released from the original chain to generate independent units. Immunolocalization studies indicated that polyserase-3 is secreted as a non-glycosylated protein, thus being also distinct from polyserase-2, which is a heavily glycosylated protein. Enzymatic assays indicated that recombinant polyserase-3 degrades the α-chain of fibrinogen as well as pro-urokinase-type plasminogen activator (pro-uPA). Northern blot analysis showed that polyserase-3 exhibits a unique expression pattern among human polyserases, being predominantly detected in testis, liver, heart and ovary, as well as in several tumor cell lines.
These findings contribute to define the growing group of human polyserine proteases composed at present by three different proteins. All of them share a complex structural design with several catalytic units in a single polypeptide but also show specific features in terms of enzymatic properties, expression patterns and post-translational maturation mechanisms.
BMC Biochemistry 2006, 7:9. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.