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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994 Mar 1;91(5):1893-7.

Mammalian class IV alcohol dehydrogenase (stomach alcohol dehydrogenase): structure, origin, and correlation with enzymology.

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  • 1Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


The structure of a mammalian class IV alcohol dehydrogenase has been determined by peptide analysis of the protein isolated from rat stomach. The structure indicates that the enzyme constitutes a separate alcohol dehydrogenase class, in agreement with the distinct enzymatic properties; the class IV enzyme is somewhat closer to class I (the "classical" liver alcohol dehydrogenase; approximately 68% residue identities) than to the other classes (II, III, and V; approximately 60% residue identities), suggesting that class IV might have originated through duplication of an early vertebrate class I gene. The activity of the class IV protein toward ethanol is even higher than that of the classical liver enzyme. Both Km and kcat values are high, the latter being the highest of any class characterized so far. Structurally, these properties are correlated with replacements at the active site, affecting both substrate and coenzyme binding. In particular, Ala-294 (instead of valine) results in increased space in the middle section of the substrate cleft, Gly-47 (instead of a basic residue) results in decreased charge interactions with the coenzyme pyrophosphate, and Tyr-363 (instead of a basic residue) may also affect coenzyme binding. In combination, these exchanges are compatible with a promotion of the off dissociation and an increased turnover rate. In contrast, residues at the inner part of the substrate cleft are bulky, accounting for low activity toward secondary alcohols and cyclohexanol. Exchanges at positions 259-261 involve minor shifts in glycine residues at a reverse turn in the coenzyme-binding fold. Clearly, class IV is distinct in structure, ethanol turnover, stomach expression, and possible emergence from class I.

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