High throughput protease profiling comprehensively defines active site specificity for thrombin and ADAMTS13
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We have combined random 6 amino acid substrate phage display with high throughput sequencing to comprehensively define the active site specificity of the serine protease thrombin and the metalloprotease ADAMTS13. The substrate motif for thrombin was determined by >6,700 cleaved peptides, and was highly concordant with previous studies. In contrast, ADAMTS13 cleaved only 96 peptides (out of >107 sequences), with no apparent consensus motif. However, when the hexapeptide library was substituted into the P3-P3' interval of VWF73, an exosite-engaging substrate of ADAMTS13, 1670 unique peptides were cleaved. ADAMTS13 exhibited a general preference for aliphatic amino acids throughout the P3-P3' interval, except at P2 where Arg was tolerated. The cleaved peptides assembled into a motif dominated by P3 Leu, and bulky aliphatic residues at P1 and P1'. Overall, the P3-P2' amino acid sequence of von Willebrand Factor appears optimally evolved for ADAMTS13 recognition. These data confirm the critical role of exosite engagement for substrates to gain access to the active site of ADAMTS13, and define the substrate recognition motif for ADAMTS13. Combining substrate phage display with high throughput sequencing is a powerful approach for comprehensively defining the active site specificity of proteases.
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