Cloning a rat meprin cDNA reveals the enzyme is a heterodimer

G. D. Johnson, L. B. Hersh

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51 Scopus citations


The structure of the kidney microvillar membrane metallopeptidase meprin (EC from rats has been examined. Previously reported to be a homotetramer, we demonstrate that the enzyme is composed of two similar but distinct subunits through tryptic peptide mapping and the sequencing of peptides of the papain solubilized form of the enzyme. Two-dimensional sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis reveals that the native rat meprin tetramer is dissociated by detergent into disulfide-linked heterodimers. A full-length cDNA clone encoding one of the meprin subunits has been isolated and sequenced. The cDNA contains an open reading frame of 668 amino acids, coding for a polypeptide of molecular weight 75,054. The enzyme contains the zinc binding sequence HEFLH and a potential membrane- spanning region near its amino terminus. Comparison of this clone with peptide sequences from mouse meprins A and B shows that the clone is a B type or β subunit. Northern blot analysis is consistent with the existence of two distinct subunits and further indicates that rat meprin subunits may be differentially expressed in various rat tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13505-13512
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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