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J Mol Evol. 1998 Apr;46(4):488-93.

Modeling based on the structure of vicilins predicts a histidine cluster in the active site of oxalate oxidase.

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  • 1Institute of Food Research, Reading Laboratory, United Kingdom.


It is known that germin, which is a marker of the onset of growth in germinating wheat, is an oxalate oxidase, and also that germins possess sequence similarity with legumin and vicilin seed storage proteins. These two pieces of information have been combined in order to generate a 3D model of germin based on the structure of vicilin and to examine the model with regard to a potential oxalate oxidase active site. A cluster of three histidine residues has been located within the conserved beta-barrel structure. While there is a relatively low level of overall sequence similarity between the model and the vicilin structures, the conservation of amino acids important in maintaining the scaffold of the beta-barrel lends confidence to the juxtaposition of the histidine residues. The cluster is similar structurally to those found in copper amine oxidase and other proteins, leading to the suggestion that it defines a metal-binding location within the oxalate oxidase active site. It is also proposed that the structural elements involved in intermolecular interactions in vicilins may play a role in oligomer formation in germin/oxalate oxidase.

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