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J Biol Chem. 2001 Apr 20;276(16):13178-85. Epub 2001 Jan 26.

An active site tyrosine influences the ability of the dimethyl sulfoxide reductase family of molybdopterin enzymes to reduce S-oxides.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


Dimethyl sulfoxide reductase (DMSOR), trimethylamine-N-oxide reductase (TMAOR), and biotin sulfoxide reductase (BSOR) are members of a class of bacterial oxotransferases that contain the bis(molybdopterin guanine dinucleotide)molybdenum cofactor. The presence of a Tyr residue in the active site of DMSOR and BSOR that is missing in TMAOR has been implicated in the inability of TMAOR, unlike DMSOR and BSOR, to utilize S-oxides. To test this hypothesis, Escherichia coli TMAOR was cloned and expressed at high levels, and site-directed mutagenesis was utilized to generate the Tyr-114 --> Ala and Phe variants of Rhodobacter sphaeroides DMSOR and insert a Tyr residue into the equivalent position in TMAOR. Although all of the mutants turn over in a manner similar to their respective wild-type enzymes, mutation of Tyr-114 in DMSOR results in a decreased specificity for S-oxides and an increased specificity for trimethylamine-N-oxide (Me(3)NO), with a greater change observed for DMSOR-Y114A. Insertion of a Tyr into TMAOR results in a decreased preference for Me(3)NO relative to dimethyl sulfoxide. Kinetic analysis and UV-visible absorption spectra indicate that the ability of DMSOR to be reduced by dimethyl sulfide is lost upon mutation of Tyr-114 and that TMAOR does not exhibit this activity even in the Tyr insertion mutant.

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