Parallel effects of signal peptide hydrophobic core modifications on co-translational translocation and post-translational cleavage by purified signal peptidase

J. A. Cioffi, K. L. Allen, M. O. Lively, B. Kemper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The length of the hydrophobic core of the bovine parathyroid hormone signal peptide was modified by in vitro mutagenesis. Extension of the hydrophobic core by three amino acids at the NH2-terminal end had little effect on the proteolytic processing of the signal peptide by microsomal membranes. Deletion of 6 of the 12 amino acids in the core eliminated translocation and processing of the modified protein. Deletion of pairs of amino acids across the core resulted in position-dependent inhibition of signal activity unrelated to hydrophobicity but inversely related to the hydrophobic moments of the modified cores. Deletions in the NH2-terminal region of the core were strongly inhibitory for proteolytic processing whereas deletions in the COOH-terminal region had no effect or increased processing when assessed either co-translationally with microsomal membranes or post-translationally with purified hen oviduct signal peptidase. Deletion of cysteine 18 and alanine 19 increased processing, but deletion of cysteine alone or substitution of leucine for cysteine did not increase processing more than deletion of both residues at 18 and 19. Translations of the translocation-defective mutants with pairs of amino acids deleted in a wheat germ system were inhibited by addition of exogenous signal recognition particle suggesting that interactions of the modified signal peptides with signal recognition particle were normal. The position-dependent effects of the hydrophobic core modifications indicate that structural properties of the core in addition to hydrophobicity are important for signal activity. The parallel effects of the modifications on co-translational translocation and post-translational processing by purified signal peptidase suggest that proteins in the signal peptidase complex might be part of, or intimately associated with, membrane proteins involved in translocation. A model is proposed in which the NH2-terminal region of the hydrophobic core binds to one subunit of the signal peptidase while the other subunit catalyzes the cleavage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15052-15058
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume264
Issue number25
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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