Histidine sequences in the active centres of some 'serine' proteinases

Biochem J. 1966 Oct;101(1):232-41. doi: 10.1042/bj1010232.


1. A comparison of the diagonal ;maps' of chymotrypsin A and ;tosylphenylalanyl chloromethyl ketone'-inhibited chymotrypsin A showed that His-57 is alkylated specifically by this substrate analogue. 2. From peptic digests of chymotrypsinogen A and B, trypsin and elastase it was demonstrated by the diagonal electrophoretic technique that a common di-histidine cystine-bridged structure is present in all four enzymes. 3. The sequences of these peptides were determined and show that the positions of the two histidine residues relative to the disulphide bond are a common feature. Thus His-40 of chymotrypsin A is only two residues removed from CyS-42, and His-57 is adjacent to the other half of this bridge, CyS-58. 4. Considerable variation in sequence occurs about His-40, where the aromatic residues 39 and 41 of the chymotrypsins and trypsin are replaced by alanine and threonine in elastase. There is a remarkable similarity in sequence following CyS-42 and preceding CyS-58 in all four enzymes.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence*
  • Animals
  • Carboxypeptidases
  • Cattle
  • Chymotrypsin / analysis*
  • Electrophoresis
  • Enzyme Precursors / analysis*
  • Histidine / analysis*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Ketones
  • Pancreatic Elastase / analysis*
  • Peptides / analysis*
  • Serine
  • Swine
  • Trypsin / analysis*


  • Enzyme Precursors
  • Ketones
  • Peptides
  • Serine
  • Histidine
  • Carboxypeptidases
  • Chymotrypsin
  • Pancreatic Elastase
  • Trypsin