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PDZ domains facilitate binding of high temperature requirement protease A (HtrA) and tail-specific protease (Tsp) to heterologous substrates through recognition of the small stable RNA A (ssrA)-encoded peptide

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Alison Spiers, Dr Heather Lamb, Dr Simon Cocklin, Dr Anna Dodds, Professor Alastair Hawkins


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The Escherichia coli protease HtrA has two PDZ domains, and sequence alignments predict that the E. coli protease Tsp has a single PDZ domain. PDZ domains are composed of short sequences (80-100 amino acids) that have been implicated in a range of protein:protein interactions. The PDZ-like domain of Tsp may be involved in binding to the extreme COOH-terminal sequence of its substrate, whereas the HtrA PDZ domains are involved in subunit assembly and are predicted to be responsible for substrate binding and subsequent translocation into the active site. E. coli has a system of protein quality control surveillance mediated by the ssrA-encoded peptide tagging system. This system tags misfolded proteins or protein fragments with an 11-amino acid peptide that is recognized by a battery of cytoplasmic and periplasmic proteases as a degradation signal. Here we show that both HtrA and Tsp are able to recognize the ssrA-encoded peptide tag with apparent KD values of ∼5 and 390 nM, respectively, and that their PDZ-like domains mediate this recognition. Fusion of the ssrA-encoded peptide tag to the COOH terminus of a heterologous protein (glutathione S-transferase) renders it sensitive to digestion by Tsp but not HtrA. These observations support the prediction that the HtrA PDZ domains facilitate substrate binding and the differential proteolytic responses of HtrA and Tsp to SsrA-tagged glutathione S-transferase are interpreted in terms of the structure of HtrA.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hawkins AR; Spiers A; Lamb HK; Dodds AL; Cocklin S; Wheeler KA; Budworth J; Pallen MJ; Maskell DJ; Charles IG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Biological Chemistry

Year: 2002

Volume: 277

Issue: 42

Pages: 39443-39449

ISSN (print): 0021-9258

ISSN (electronic): 1083-351X

Publisher: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M202790200

PubMed id: 12177052


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