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J Bacteriol. 2007 Dec;189(24):9030-6. Epub 2007 Oct 5.

Orotate phosphoribosyltransferase from Corynebacterium ammoniagenes lacking a conserved lysine.

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  • 1Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, People's Republic of China.


The pyrE gene, encoding orotate phosphoribosyltransferase (OPRTase), was cloned by nested PCR and colony blotting from Corynebacterium ammoniagenes ATCC 6872, which is widely used in nucleotide production. Sequence analysis shows that there is a lack of an important conserved lysine (Lys 73 in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium OPRTase) in the C. ammoniagenes OPRTase. This lysine has been considered to contribute to the initiation of catalysis. The enzyme was overexpressed and purified from a recombinant Escherichia coli strain. The molecular mass of the purified OPRTase was determined to be 45.4 +/- 1.5 kDa by gel filtration. Since the molecular mass for the subunit of the enzyme was 21.3 +/- 0.6 kDa, the native enzyme exists as a dimer. Divalent magnesium was necessary for the activity of the enzyme and can be substituted for by Mn2+ and Co2+. The optimal pH for the forward (phosphoribosyl transfer) reaction is 10.5 to 11.5, which is higher than that of other reported OPRTases, and the optimal pH for the reverse (pyrophosphorolysis) reaction is 5.5 to 6.5. The Km values for the four substrates were determined to be 33 microM for orotate, 64 microM for 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate (PRPP), 45 microM for orotidine-5-phosphate (OMP), and 36 microM for pyrophosphate. The Km value for OMP is much larger than those of other organisms. These differences may be due to the absence of Lys 73, which is present in the active sites of other OPRTases and is known to interact with OMP and PRPP.

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