European journal of biochemistry

Cathepsin L. A new proteinase from rat-liver lysosomes.

PMID 15835


1. Cathepsin L was purified from rat liver lysosomes by cell fractionation, osmotic disruption of the lysosomes in the lysosomal mitochondrial pellet, gel filtration of the lysosomal extract and chromatography on CM-Sephadex. 2. Cathepsin L is a thiol proteinase and exists in several multiple forms visible on the disc electropherogram. By polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulphate its molecular weight was found to be 23000-24000. The isoelectric points of the multiple forms of cathepsin L extended from pH 5.8-6.1 ascertained by analytical isoelectric focusing. 3. Using various protein substrates, cathepsin L was found to be the most active endopeptidase from rat liver lysosomes acting at pH 6-7. In contrast to cathepsin B1, its capability of hydrolyzing N-substituted derivatives of arginine is low and it does not split esters. 4. Greatest activity is obtained close to pH 5.0 with 70-90% of maximal activity at pH 4.0 and pH 6.0 and 30-40% at pH 7.0. 5. The enzyme is strongly inhibited by leupeptin and the chloromethyl ketone of tosyl-lysine. Leupeptin acts as a pseudo-irreversible inhibitor. 6. The enzyme is stable for several months at slightly acid pH values in the presence of thiol compounds in a deep-frozen state.

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