Journal of biochemistry

Methionine aminopeptidase from the hyperthermophilic Archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus: molecular cloning and overexpression in Escherichia coli of the gene, and characteristics of the enzyme.

PMID 9399590


A gene for a methionine aminopeptidase (MAP; EC, which catalyzes the removal of amino-terminal methionine from the growing peptide chain on the ribosome, has been cloned from the hyperthermophilic Archaeon, Pyrococcus furiosus, by a novel method effectively using its cosmid protein library, sequenced and expressed in Escherichia coli. The DNA sequence encodes a protein containing 295 amino acid residues with methionine at the N-terminus. From protein analyses of the recombinant protein expressed in E. coli, by using both amino acid sequence analysis from the N-terminus by automated Edman degradation and analyses of molecular masses of the peptides generated by two enzymatic cleavages performed independently, digestions with lysylendopeptidase and Endoproteinase Asp-N, with ionspray mass spectrometry, the primary structure of the protein has been elucidated to be completely identical with that deduced from its DNA sequence. Comparison of the amino acid sequence of P. furiosus MAP (P.f. MAP) with those of other MAPs from Eukarya and Bacteria showed that the protein has a high degree of sequence homology in the stretches surrounding the five cobalt-binding residues fully preserved in all of MAPs determined so far, but P.f. MAP belongs to Type II because it has an extra long insertion of about 60 amino acid residues between the fourth and fifth cobalt-binding ligands, similar to MAPs from human and rat, and to Met-AP2 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, in comparison to Type I MAPs from Bacteria. Therefore, P.f. MAP seems to be rather close to those from Eukarya, although it is distinct in lacking the N-terminal extension of about 90-150 residues universally found in MAPs from Eukarya. These findings suggest that P.f. MAP is evolutionally located at the Eukarya-Bacteria boundary. The enzyme expressed in E. coli exhibits a considerable thermostability, with a half-life of approximately 4.5 h at 90 degrees C and an optimum temperature of around 90 degrees C.