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Int J Mol Med. 2009 Mar;23(3):379-87.

Comparison of the crystal structure and function to wild-type and His25Ala mutant human heme oxygenase-1.

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  • 1Ruijin Hospital Affiliated to School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200025, PR China.


Human heme oxygenase-1 (hHO-1) is a rate-limiting enzyme in heme metabolism. It regulates serum bilirubin level. Site-directed mutagenesis studies indicate that the proximal residue histidine 25 (His25) plays a key role in hHO-1 activity. A highly purified hHO-1 His25Ala mutant was generated and crystallized with a new expression system. The crystal structure of the mutant was determined by X-ray diffraction technology and molecular replacement at the resolution of 2.8 A, and the model of hHO-1 His25Ala mutant was refined. The final crystallographic and free R factors were 0.245 and 0.283, respectively. The standard bond length deviation was 0.007 A, and the standard bond angle deviation was 1.3 degrees . The mutation of His25 to Ala led to an empty pocket underneath the ferric ion in the heme, leading to loss of binding iron ligand. Although this did not cause an overall structural change, the enzymatic activity of the mutant hHO-1 was reduced by 90%. By supplementing imidazole, the HO-1 activity was restored approximately 90% to its normal level. These data suggest that Ala25 remains unchanged in the structure compared to His25, but the important catalytic function of hHO-1 is lost. Thus, it appears that His25 is a crucial residue for proper hHO-1 catalysis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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