Laeverin/aminopeptidase Q, a novel bestatin-sensitive leucine aminopeptidase belonging to the M1 family of aminopeptidases

Masato Maruyama, Akira Hattori, Yoshikuni Goto, Masamichi Ueda, Michiyuki Maeda, Hiroshi Fujiwara, Masafumi Tsujimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Laeverin/aminopeptidase Q (APQ) is a cell surface protein specifically expressed on human embryo-derived extravillous trophoblasts that invades the uterus during placentation. The cDNA cloning of Laeverin/APQ revealed that the sequence encodes a protein with 990 amino acid residues, and Laeverin/APQ contains the HEXXHX18E gluzincin motif, which is characteristic of the M1 family of aminopeptidases, although the exopeptidase motif of the family, GAMEN, is uniquely substituted for the HAMEN sequence. In this study, we expressed a recombinant human Laeverin/APQ using a baculovirus expression system, purified to homogeneity, and characterized its enzymatic properties. It was found that Laeverin/APQ had a broad substrate specificity toward synthetic substrate, although it showed a preference for Leu-4-methylcoumaryl-7-amide. Searching natural substrates, we found that Laeverin/APQ was able to cleave the N-terminal amino acid of several peptides such as angiotensin III, kisspeptin-10, and endokinin C, which are abundantly expressed in the placenta. In contrast to the case with other M1 aminopeptidases, bestatin inhibited the aminopeptidase activity of Laeverin/APQ much more effectively than other known aminopeptidase inhibitors. These results indicate that Laeverin/APQ is a novel bestatin-sensitive leucine aminopeptidase and suggest that the enzyme plays important roles in human placentation by regulating biological activity of key peptides at the embryo-maternal interface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20088-20096
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number28
Publication statusPublished - Jul 13 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Laeverin/aminopeptidase Q, a novel bestatin-sensitive leucine aminopeptidase belonging to the M1 family of aminopeptidases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this