Author(s): Bergeron F, Leduc R, Day R
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Abstract Limited proteolysis of most large protein precursors is carried out in vivo by the subtilisin-like pro-protein convertases. Many important biological processes such as peptide hormone synthesis, viral protein processing and receptor maturation involve proteolytic processing by these enzymes, making them potential targets for the development of novel therapeutic agents. However, the efficient development of such molecules requires a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of proteolytic protein processing. Herein, we review the most recent findings on the molecular aspects of subtilisin-like convertase activity, such as the structural analysis of the proteases, the mechanisms of enzyme/substrate specificity, their interaction with other proteins such as 7B2, and the comparative tissue and cellular distribution of the enzymes and their substrates. These data are then used as a background for the review of the known biological functions of subtilisin-like pro-protein convertases, the reported clinical cases involving proteolytic processing defects and, finally, the ongoing development of new therapeutic inhibitor molecules based on this knowledge.
This article was published in J Mol Endocrinol
and referenced in Journal of Cell Signaling