Two cDNAs encoding cysteine proteinases were isolated from a cDNA library constructed from feeding females of Heterodera glycines. The library was screened with a cysteine proteinase gene fragment originally amplified from cDNA of H. glycines. Database searches predict that 1 cDNA (hgcp-I) encodes a cathepsin L-like proteinase, while the second (hgcp-II) encodes a cathepsin S-like enzyme. Both predicted proteins contain a short secretion signal sequence, a long pro-peptide and a mature protein of 219 amino acids. Southern blot analysis suggests that the cathepsin S-like enzyme, HGCP-II, is encoded by a single-copy gene in contrast to the cathepsin L-like proteinase, HGCP-I which may have 2 homologues. The regions encoding the mature proteinases were cloned into an expression vector and recombinant protein produced in E. coli. HGCP-I was shown, after refolding, to cleave the synthetic peptide Z-Phe-Arg-AMC, and this activity could be inhibited by the engineered rice cystatin Oc-I[Delta]D86. HGCP-II showed no activity against the synthetic substrates tested. The knowledge gained from these studies will improve our understanding of plant nematode proteinases and aid the development of a rational proteinase inhibitor-based approach to plant nematode resistance.
Urwin, P.E.; Lilley, C.J.; McPherson, M.J.; Atkinson, H.J. Characterization of two cDNAs encoding cysteine proteinases from the soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines. Parasitology (1997) 114 (6) 605-613.