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Tripeptidyl peptidase I, the late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis gene product, initiates the lysosomal degradation of subunit c of ATP synthase.

Ezaki J., Takeda-Ezaki M., Kominami E.

The specific accumulation of a hydrophobic protein, subunit c of ATP synthase, in lysosomes from the cells of patients with the late infantile form of NCL (LINCL) is caused by a defect in the CLN2 gene product, tripeptidyl peptidase I (TPP-I). The data here show that TPP-I is involved in the initial degradation of subunit c in lysosomes and suggest that its absence leads directly to the lysosomal accumulation of subunit c. The inclusion of a specific inhibitor of TPP-I, Ala-Ala-Phe-chloromethylketone (AAF-CMK), in the culture medium of normal fibroblasts induced the lysosomal accumulation of subunit c. In an in vitro incubation experiment the addition of AAF-CMK to mitochondrial-lysosomal fractions from normal cells inhibited the proteolysis of subunit c, but not the b-subunit of ATP synthase. The use of two antibodies that recognize the aminoterminal and the middle portion of subunit c revealed that the subunit underwent aminoterminal proteolysis, when TPP-I, purified from rat spleen, was added to the mitochondrial fractions. The addition of both purified TPP-I and the soluble lysosomal fractions, which contain various proteinases, to the mitochondrial fractions resulted in rapid degradation of the entire molecule of subunit c, whereas the degradation of subunit c was markedly delayed through the specific inhibition of TPP-I in lysosomal extracts by AAF-CMK. The stable subunit c in the mitochondrial-lysosomal fractions from cells of a patient with LINCL was degraded on incubation with purified TPP-I. The presence of TPP-I led to the sequential cleavage of tripeptides from the N-terminus of the peptide corresponding to the amino terminal sequence of subunit c.

J. Biochem. 128:509-516(2000) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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