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Nat Struct Biol. 2000 Jul;7(7):542-6.

Crystal structure of human homogentisate dioxygenase.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine, 635 Barnhill Drive, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA.


Homogentisate dioxygenase (HGO) cleaves the aromatic ring during the metabolic degradation of Phe and Tyr. HGO deficiency causes alkaptonuria (AKU), the first human disease shown to be inherited as a recessive Mendelian trait. Crystal structures of apo-HGO and HGO containing an iron ion have been determined at 1.9 and 2.3 A resolution, respectively. The HGO protomer, which contains a 280-residue N-terminal domain and a 140-residue C-terminal domain, associates as a hexamer arranged as a dimer of trimers. The active site iron ion is coordinated near the interface between subunits in the HGO trimer by a Glu and two His side chains. HGO represents a new structural class of dioxygenases. The largest group of AKU associated missense mutations affect residues located in regions of contact between subunits.

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