Identification of Signal Peptide Peptidase, a Presenilin-Type Aspartic Protease

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Science  21 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5576, pp. 2215-2218
DOI: 10.1126/science.1070925

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Signal peptide peptidase (SPP) catalyzes intramembrane proteolysis of some signal peptides after they have been cleaved from a preprotein. In humans, SPP activity is required to generate signal sequence–derived human lymphocyte antigen–E epitopes that are recognized by the immune system, and to process hepatitis C virus core protein. We have identified human SPP as a polytopic membrane protein with sequence motifs characteristic of the presenilin-type aspartic proteases. SPP and potential eukaryotic homologs may represent another family of aspartic proteases that promote intramembrane proteolysis to release biologically important peptides.

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