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J Biol Chem. 2001 Sep 14;276(37):34738-42. Epub 2001 Jul 18.

The phosphatase C(X)5R motif is required for catalytic activity of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Acr2p arsenate reductase.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Wayne State University, School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA.


Acr2p detoxifies arsenate by reduction to arsenite in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This reductase has been shown to require glutathione and glutaredoxin, suggesting that thiol chemistry might be involved in the reaction mechanism. Acr2p has a HC(X)(5)R motif, the signature sequence of the phosphate binding loop of the dual-specific and protein-tyrosine phosphatase family. In Acr2p these are residues His-75, Cys-76, and Arg-82, respectively. Acr2p has another sequence, (118)HCR, that is absent in phosphatases. Acr2p also has a third cysteine residue at position 106. Each of these cysteine residues was changed individually to serine residues, whereas the histidine and arginine residues were altered to alanines. Cells of Escherichia coli heterologously expressing the majority of the mutant ACR2 genes retained wild type resistance to arsenate, and the purified altered Acr2p proteins exhibited normal enzymatic properties. In contrast, cells expressing either the C76S or R82A mutations lost resistance to arsenate, and the purified proteins were inactive. These results suggest that Acr2p utilizes a phosphatase-like Cys(X)(5)Arg motif as the catalytic center to reduce arsenate to arsenite.

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