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Nat Struct Biol. 1995 Aug;2(8):654-62.

The multisubunit active site of fumarase C from Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455, USA.


The crystal structure of the tetrameric enzyme, fumarase C from Escherichia coli, has been determined to a resolution of 2.0 A. A tungstate derivative used in the X-ray analysis is a competitive inhibitor and places the active site of fumarase in a region which includes atoms from three of the four subunits. The polypeptide conformation is similar to that of delta-crystallin and is comprised of three domains. The central domain, D2, is a unique five-helix bundle. The association of the D2 domains results in a tetramer which has a core of 20 alpha-helices. The other two domains, D1 and D3, cap the helical bundle on opposite ends giving both the single subunit and the tetramer a dumbbell-like appearance. Fumarase C has sequence homology to the eukaryotic fumarases, aspartase, arginosuccinate lyase, adenylosuccinate lyase and delta-crystallin.

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