A new protease, named SsMTP was identified from the archeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. The enzyme is associated to the cell-membrane and over-produced in response to the peptide-enriched media. SsMTP has a molecular mass of 120 kDa showing optimal activity at pH 2.0 in the temperature range 70 - 90 °C, and a half-life of 20 days at 80 °C. Primary structure analysis revealed that SsMTP represents a novel type of multi-domain thermopsin-like protease containing the catalytic domain followed by two distinct domains, PKD and Y_Y_Y, which are usually involved in a range of protein- protein interactions among the extracellular proteins.
Keywords: Sulfolobus solfataricus, Membrane-bound extracellular protease, Thermopsin-like protease, Multi-domain protease
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