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Published January 2004 | Published
Journal Article Open

JAMM: A Metalloprotease-Like Zinc Site in the Proteasome and Signalosome


The JAMM (JAB1/MPN/Mov34 metalloenzyme) motif in Rpn11 and Csn5 underlies isopeptidase activities intrinsic to the proteasome and signalosome, respectively. We show here that the archaebacterial protein AfJAMM possesses the key features of a zinc metalloprotease, yet with a distinct fold. The histidine and aspartic acid of the conserved EXnHS/THX7SXXD motif coordinate a zinc, whereas the glutamic acid hydrogen-bonds an aqua ligand. By analogy to the active site of thermolysin, we predict that the glutamic acid serves as an acid-base catalyst and the second serine stabilizes a tetrahedral intermediate. Mutagenesis of Csn5 confirms these residues are required for Nedd8 isopeptidase activity. The active site-like architecture specified by the JAMM motif motivates structure-based approaches to the study of JAMM domain proteins and the development of therapeutic proteasome and signalosome inhibitors.

Additional Information

Received August 29, 2003; Accepted October 9, 2003; Published November 24,2003. DOI:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020002. Copyright: 2003 Ambroggio et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Academic Editor: Hidde L. Ploegh, Harvard Medical School *To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: deshaies AT caltech.edu This work was supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Gordon Moore Foundation (to XIA), as well as the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (to DCR and RJD). We would like to thank the staff at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, a national user facility operated by Stanford University on behalf of the United States Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, and the Advanced Light Source, which is supported by the Director of the Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences Division of the United States Department of Energy under contract number DE-AC03-76SF00098 at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Special thanks go to R. Verma and G. Cope for assistance with the associated biochemistry, T. Yeates and O. Einsle for insights concerning the treatment of the pseudocentered crystals, K. Locher and P. Strop for helpful discussions, and J. Ambroggio for back massages and constant support. Conflicts of interest. The authors have declared that no conflicts of interest exist. Author contributions. XIA, DCR, and RJD conceived and designed the experiments. XIA performed the experiments. XIA, DCR, and RJD analyzed the data. XIA, DCR, and RJD contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools. XIA wrote the paper.

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