Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Purification of microsomal signal peptidase as a complex.

PMID 3511473


We report here the purification to near homogeneity of signal peptidase from canine pancreatic microsomes. Purification was monitored using an improved post-translational assay. A 42-fold enrichment over starting membranes was achieved by selective solubilization in nonionic detergent/high-salt buffer followed by gradient sievorptive anion and cation exchange chromatography, hydroxylapatite chromatography, gel filtration, and sucrose gradient velocity sedimentation. When examined by NaDodSO4/PAGE, the purified enzyme consisted of a complex of six polypeptides with apparent molecular masses of 25, 23, 22, 21, 18, and 12 kDa. The 22- and 23-kDa subunits were shown to be glycoproteins based on their sensitivity to endoglycosidase H and their ability to bind concanavalin A. We suggest that only one subunit of this complex carries out signal peptide cleavage. The structural association of the other subunits in stoichiometric amounts may reflect their requirement in chain translocation across the microsomal membrane.

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