Subtilisin-like proteases in nematodes.

New England Biolabs, 240 County Road, Ipswich, MA 01938, USA.
Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology (Impact Factor: 2.24). 10/2007; 155(1):1-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.molbiopara.2007.05.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cleavage by subtilisin-like proteases (subtilases) is an essential step in post-translational processing of proteins found in organisms ranging from yeast to mammals. Our knowledge of the diversity of this protease family in nematodes is aided by the rapid increase in sequence information, especially from the Brugia malayi genome project. Genetic studies of the subtilases in Caenorhabitis elegans give valuable insight into the biological function of these proteases in other nematode species. In this review, we focus on the subtilases in filarial nematodes as well as other parasitic and free-living nematodes in comparison to what is known in C. elegans. Topics to be addressed include expansion and diversity of the subtilase gene family during evolution, enhanced complexity created by alternative RNA splicing, molecular and biochemical characterization of the different subtilases and the challenges of designing subtilase-specific inhibitors for parasitic nematodes.

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