Asclepain f is a papain-like protease previously isolated and characterized from latex of Asclepias fruticosa. This enzyme is a member of the C1 family of cysteine proteases that are synthesized as preproenzymes. The enzyme belongs to the alpha + beta class of proteins, with two disulfide bridges (Cys22-Cys63 and Cys56-Cys95) in the alpha domain, and another one (Cys150-Cys201) in the beta domain, as was determined by molecular modeling. A full-length 1,152 bp cDNA was cloned by RT-RACE-PCR from latex mRNA. The sequence was predicted as an open reading frame of 340 amino acid residues, of which 16 residues belong to the signal peptide, 113 to the propeptide and 211 to the mature enzyme. The full-length cDNA was ligated to pPICZα vector and expressed in Pichia pastoris. Recombinant asclepain f showed endopeptidase activity on pGlu-Phe-Leu-p-nitroanilide and was identified by PMF-MALDI-TOF MS. Asclepain f is the first peptidase cloned and expressed from mRNA isolated from plant latex, confirming the presence of the preprocysteine peptidase in the latex. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.
- Asclepias fruticosa
- Cysteine endopeptidase
- Gomphocarpus fruticosus subsp. fruticosus
- Overexpression in Pichia pastoris
- Plant latex