Tripeptidyl peptidase II is an extralysosomal serine peptidase of an unusually large size, i.e. Mr greater than 10(6) for the native enzyme and Mr 135000 for the subunit. The enzyme from human erythrocytes was studied by electron microscopy on samples negatively stained by ammonium molybdate. Two different structural representations of the purified enzyme were obtained, both with a length of about 50 nm, and consisting of repetitive substructures. Upon dialysis of the enzyme against a Tris/HCl buffer, the activity was gradually decreased. This decrease was shown to parallel the dissociation of the large enzyme structures into smaller ones, the smallest measuring 3 nm by 10 nm and apparently corresponding to the repetitive substructures. The results indicate that a large polymeric form of the enzyme is a prerequisite for full activity.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.