“Group-specific” protease (GSP) is a serine protease, obtained from rat small intestine, which preferentially inactivates the apo forms of certain pyridoxal phosphate requiring enzymes. The enzyme contains 224 amino acid residues in a single polypeptide chain and three disulfide bonds. In the present work the covalent structure has been determined and its homologous relationship to those of chymotrypsin, trypsin, and elastase has been established (approximately 33% identity with each). The residues forming the “charge-relay” system of the active site of chymotrypsin (His-57, Asp-102, and Ser-195) are found in corresponding regions in GSP, whereas an alanyl residue at position 176 of GSP corresponds to a residue which participates in the primary substrate binding site in serine proteases (Asp-177 in trypsin; Ser-189 in chymotrypsin). Three disulfide bonds in GSP occur in similar positions in chymotrypsin, trypsin, and elastase. However, GSP lacks a disulfide bond which is present in all known serine proteases (linking Cys-191 to Cys-220 in chymotrypsin). In view of the close proximity of this bond to both the primary and the anti-parallel binding sites of various serine proteases, it is likely that its absence in GSP is related to the substrate specificity of this enzyme. It is concluded that GSP diverged from a common ancestor preceding chymotrypsin but following trypsin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas