Lysosomal alpha-glucosidase (acid maltase) is essential for degradation of glycogen in lysosomes. Enzyme deficiency results in glycogenosis type II. The amino acid sequence of the entire enzyme was derived from the nucleotide sequence of cloned cDNA. The cDNA comprises 3636 nt, and hybridizes with a messenger RNA of approximately 3.6 kb, which is absent in fibroblasts of two patients with glycogenosis type II. The encoded protein has a molecular mass of 104.645 kd and starts with a signal peptide. Sites of proteolytic processing are established by identification of N-terminal amino acid sequences of the 110-kd precursor, and the 76-kd and 70-kd mature forms of the enzyme encoded by the cDNA. Interestingly, both amino-terminal and carboxy-terminal processing occurs. Sites of sugar-chain attachment are proposed. A remarkable homology is observed between this soluble lysosomal alpha-glucosidase and the membrane-bound intestinal brush border sucrase-isomaltase enzyme complex. It is proposed that these enzymes are derived from the same ancestral gene. Around the putative active site of sucrase and isomaltase, 10 out of 13 amino acids are identical to the corresponding amino acids of lysosomal alpha-glucosidase. This strongly suggests that the aspartic acid residue at this position is essential for catalytic function of lysosomal alpha-glucosidase.
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