Issue 23, 2021

Asparaginyl endopeptidases: enzymology, applications and limitations


Asparaginyl endopeptidases (AEP) are cysteine proteases found in mammalian and plant cells. Several AEP isoforms from plant species were found to exhibit transpeptidase activity which is integral for the key head-to-tail cyclisation reaction during the biosynthesis of cyclotides. Since many plant AEPs exhibit excellent enzyme kinetics for peptide ligation via a relatively short substrate recognition sequence, they have become appealing tools for peptide and protein modification. In this review, research focused on the enzymology of AEPs and their applications in polypeptide cyclisation and labelling will be presented. Importantly, the limitations of using AEPs and opportunities for future research and innovation will also be discussed.

Graphical abstract: Asparaginyl endopeptidases: enzymology, applications and limitations

Article information

Article type
Review Article
30 Mar 2021
12 May 2021
First published
12 May 2021
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Org. Biomol. Chem., 2021,19, 5048-5062

Asparaginyl endopeptidases: enzymology, applications and limitations

T. M. S. Tang and L. Y. P. Luk, Org. Biomol. Chem., 2021, 19, 5048 DOI: 10.1039/D1OB00608H

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