Crystal structure and biochemical characterization of human kallikrein 6 reveals that a trypsin-like kallikrein is expressed in the central nervous system

Matthew J. Bernett, Sachiko I. Blaber, Isobel A. Scarisbrick, Pushparani Dhanarajan, Steven M. Thompson, Michael Blaber

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The human kallikreins are a large multigene family of closely related serine-type proteases. In this regard, they are similar to the multigene kallikrein families characterized in mice and rats. There is a much more extensive body of knowledge regarding the function of mouse and rat kallikreins in comparison with the human kallikreins. Human kallikrein 6 has been proposed as the homologue to rat myelencephalon-specific protease, an arginine-specific degradative-type protease abundantly expressed in the central nervous system and implicated in demyelinating disease. We present the x-ray crystal structure of mature, active recombinant human kallikrein 6 at 1.75-Å resolution. This high resolution model provides the first three-dimensional view of one of the human kallikreins and one of only a few structures of serine proteases predominantly expressed in the central nervous system. Enzymatic data are presented that support the identification of human kallikrein 6 as the functional homologue of rat myelencephalon-specific protease and are corroborated by a molecular phylogenetic analysis. Furthermore, the x-ray data provide support for the characterization of human kallikrein 6 as a degradative protease with structural features more similar to trypsin than the regulatory kallikreins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24562-24570
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 5 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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