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The Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) is one of the most well-known carnivorous plants because of its unique ability to capture small animals, usually insects or spiders, through a unique snap-trapping mechanism. The animals are subsequently killed and digested so that the plants can assimilate nutrients, as they grow in mineral-deficient soils. We deep(More)
Mutations in the human TGFBI gene encoding TGFBIp have been linked to protein deposits in the cornea leading to visual impairment. The protein consists of an N-terminal Cys-rich EMI domain and four consecutive fasciclin 1 (FAS1) domains. We have compared the stabilities of wild-type (WT) human TGFBIp and six mutants known to produce phenotypically distinct(More)
Spiders are ecologically important predators with complex venom and extraordinarily tough silk that enables capture of large prey. Here we present the assembled genome of the social velvet spider and a draft assembly of the tarantula genome that represent two major taxonomic groups of spiders. The spider genomes are large with short exons and long introns,(More)
The antioxidant enzyme extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD) is mainly found in the extracellular matrix of tissues. EC-SOD participates in the detoxification of reactive oxygen species by catalyzing the dismutation of superoxide radicals. The tissue distribution of the enzyme is particularly important because of the reactive nature of its substrate,(More)
Extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD) is a tetramer composed of either intact (Trp(1)-Ala(222)) or proteolytically cleaved (Trp(1)-Glu(209)) subunits. The latter form is processed intracellularly before secretion and lacks the C-terminal extracellular matrix (ECM)-binding region ((210)RKKRRRESECKAA(222)-COOH). We have previously suggested that the(More)
Aggrecanases have been characterized as proteinases that cleave the Glu373-Ala374 bond of the aggrecan core protein, and they are multidomain metalloproteinases belonging to the ADAMTS (adamalysin with thrombospondin type 1 motifs) family. The first aggrecanases discovered were ADAMTS-4 (aggrecanase 1) and ADAMTS-5 (aggrecanase 2). They contain a zinc(More)
Prevotella intermedia is a major periodontopathogen contributing to human gingivitis and periodontitis. Such pathogens release proteases as virulence factors that cause deterrence of host defenses and tissue destruction. A new cysteine protease from the cysteine-histidine-dyad class, interpain A, was studied in its zymogenic and self-processed mature forms.(More)
Proteolytic enzymes produced by Porphyromonas gingivalis are important virulence factors of this periodontopathogen. Two of these enzymes, referred to as arginine-specific cysteine proteinases (gingipains R), are the product of two related genes. Here, we describe the purification of an enzyme translated from the rgpB/rgp-2 gene (gingipain R2, RGP-2) and(More)
Circulating neutrophils and monocytes form the first line of cellular defense against invading bacteria. Here, we describe a novel and specific mechanism of disabling and eliminating phagocytes by Staphylococcus aureus. Staphopain B (SspB) selectively cleaved CD11b on phagocytes, which rapidly acquired features of cell death. SspB-treated phagocytes(More)
Human extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD; EC 1.15.1.1) is a scavenger of superoxide anions in the extracellular space. The amino acid sequence is homologous to the intracellular counterpart, Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn-SOD), apart from N- and C-terminal extensions. Cu/Zn-SOD is a homodimer containing four cysteine residues within each subunit,(More)