Cloning and sequence analysis of cDNA for human cathepsin D

P. L. Faust, S. Kornfeld, J. M. Chirgwin

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An 1110-base-pair cDNA clone for human cathepsin D was obtained by screening a λgt10 human hepatoma G2 cDNA library with a human renin exon 3 genomic fragment. Poly(A)+ RNA blot analysis with this cathepsin D clone demonstrated a message length of about 2.2 kilobases. The partial clone was used to screen a size-selected human kidney cDNA library, from which two cathepsin D recombinant plasmids with inserts of about 2200 and 2150 base pairs were obtained. The nucleotide sequences of these clones and of the λgt10 clone were determined. The amino acid sequence predicted from the cDNA sequence shows that human cathepsin D consists of 412 amino acids with 20 and 44 amino acids in a pre- and a prosegment, respectively. The mature protein region shows 87% amino acid identity with porcine cathepsin D but differs in having nine additional amino acids. Two of these are at the COOH terminus; the other seven are positioned between the previously determined junction for the light and heavy chains of porcine cathepsin D. A high degree of sequence homology was observed between human cathepsin D and other aspartyl proteases, suggesting a conservation of three-dimensional structure in this family of proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4910-4914
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number15
StatePublished - 1985


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