Cloning and characterization of cDNA encoding cardosin A, an RGD-containing plant aspartic proteinase.

Authors: Faro C, Ramalho-Santos M, Vieira M, Mendes A, Simões I, Andrade R, Veríssimo P, Lin X, Tang J, Pires E.

Reference: J Biol Chem. 1999 Oct 1;274(40):28724-9.

PMID: 10497243

Abstract: Cardosin A is an abundant aspartic proteinase from pistils of Cynara cardunculus L. whose milk-clotting activity has been exploited for the manufacture of cheese. Here we report the cloning and characterization of cardosin A cDNA. The deduced amino acid sequence contains the conserved features of plant aspartic proteinases, including the plant-specific insertion (PSI), and revealed the presence of an Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif, which is known to function in cell surface receptor binding by extracellular proteins. Cardosin A mRNA was detected predominantly in young flower buds but not in mature or senescent pistils, suggesting that its expression is likely to be developmentally regulated. Procardosin A, the single chain precursor, was found associated with microsomal membranes of flower buds, whereas the active two-chain enzyme generated upon removal of PSI is soluble. This result implies a role for PSI in promoting the association of plant aspartic proteinase precursors to cell membranes. To get further insights about cardosin A, the functional relevance of the RGD motif was also investigated. A 100-kDa protein that interacts specifically with the RGD sequence was isolated from octyl glucoside pollen extracts by affinity chromatography on cardosin A-Sepharose. This result suggests that the 100-kDa protein is a cardosin A receptor and indicates that the interaction between these two proteins is apparently mediated through RGD recognition. It is possible therefore that cardosin A may have a role in adhesion-mediated proteolytic mechanisms involved in pollen recognition and growth. 

Santos Lab1999