PMID: 2619767Jan 1, 1989

Role of protein disulphide-isomerase in the expression of native proteins

Biochemical Society Symposium
R B FreedmanJ L Paver


Formation of native disulphide bonds is a post-translational modification associated with the folding and assembly of secretory proteins. The process is catalysed within the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum by the enzyme protein disulphide-isomerase (PDI), which is abundant in secretory cells and catalyses thiol: protein-disulphide interchange in vitro with very broad protein substrate specificity. The presence of PDI within microsomal vesicles is essential for efficient and rapid cotranslational disulphide bond formation during protein synthesis in vitro. The sequence of PDI is now known from several species, and shows the presence of two domains closely homologous to thioredoxins. Chemical modification data confirm the role of the thioredoxin domains in thiol:disulphide interchange activity, and structural models of these domains can be built based on homology with thioredoxin. Thus PDI is both strongly implicated in the process of native protein folding in vivo and well characterized at the molecular level. In addition to its disulphide-isomerase activity, PDI participates as a component of the enzyme prolyl-4-hydroxylase, and further functions have also been proposed.

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