Proteinase from germinating bean cotyledons. Evidence for involvement of a thiol group in catalysis.

C. Csoma, L. Polgár

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To degrade storage proteins germinating seeds synthesize proteinases de novo that can be inhibited by thiol-blocking reagents [Baumgartner & Chrispeels (1977) Eur. J. Biochem. 77, 223-233]. We have elaborated a procedure for isolation of such a proteinase from the cotyledons of Phaseolus vulgaris. The purification procedure involved fractionation of the cotyledon homogenate with acetone and with (NH4)2SO4 and successive chromatographies on DEAE-cellulose, activated thiol-Sepharose Sepharose and Sephacryl S-200. The purified enzyme has an Mr of 23,400, proved to be highly specific for the asparagine side chain and blocking of its thiol group resulted in loss of the catalytic activity. The chemical properties of the thiol group of the bean enzyme were investigated by acylation with t-butyloxycarbonyl-L-asparagine p-nitro-phenyl ester and by alkylations with iodoacetamide and iodoacetate. Deviations from normal pH-rate profile were observed, which indicated that the thiol group is not a simple functional group, but constitutes a part of an interactive system at the active site. The pKa value for acylation and the magnitude of the rate constant for alkylation with iodoacetate revealed that the bean proteinase possesses some properties not shared by papain and the other cysteine proteinases studied to date.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-776
Number of pages8
JournalThe Biochemical journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 15 1984


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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